Belfast Telegraph

Fiend who raped Northern Ireland girl (8) multiple times in church grounds is jailed

By George Jackson

A man who repeatedly raped an eight-year-old schoolgirl in the grounds of a Catholic Church in Portstewart has been jailed for 10 years.

Louis Feeny carried out what a judge described as "a campaign of rape" against his victim on an almost daily basis in August 1973.

The 66-year-old, from Killowen Street in Coleraine, is already a convicted sex offender serving a jail sentence.

Feeny pleaded guilty to six specimen charges of rape.

He was originally interviewed by the police about the rape allegations back in October 2000 but no prosecution was directed at the time.

However, when other sexual offences came to light Feeny was reinterviewed, but denied the allegations.

He was due to stand trial in September of this year but on the morning of his trial he was rearraigned and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Public Prosecution Service barrister Roseanne McCormick told the court that Feeny first met his victim outside the Star Of The Sea church in Portstewart as she was on her way to swimming lessons.

The young girl said she had to go to the toilet and Feeny took her to a toilet block at the rear of the church.

He walked into the toilet cubicle with her and locked the door behind.

Feeny ordered the girl to touch his private parts before telling her to stand on the toilet seat. When she did that he raped her.

Mrs McCormick said Feeny then instilled fear in the girl and threatened her that if she told anybody about what had happened he would report her to the police for stealing from the chapel's collection box.

"She was raped by the defendant every day throughout the month of August in 1973 except on Sundays," she said.

Defence barrister Alan Kane QC described it as a case where the less was said the better.

"It was a very vile series of offences", he told Judge Gordon Kerr QC.

Mr Kane said Feeny had a troubled childhood during which he struggled educationally.

"He lived in a children's home in Portrush," he said.

"He was then sent to a Christian Brothers home in Dublin, where he says he was sexually abused by one of those in charge."

As well as jailing Feeny for 10 years, Judge Kerr placed him on the sex offenders' register for life and made him the subject of a sexual offender's prevention order for 15 years.

Belfast Telegraph


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