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Granddad accused of kissing his young granddaughter in an 'inappropriate and sexual manner' up to 30 times


 (stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A 63-year old man accused of kissing his young granddaughter in an "inappropriate and sexual manner" up to 30 times went on trial in Belfast on Thursday.

The defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, is also accused of touching the youngster in his bedroom whilst she stayed in her grandparents home overnight.

A jury of six men and six women were sworn at Belfast Court Crown and are being asked to reach verdicts on three counts of sexual assault of child under 13 - offences which the accused has denied.

It's the Crown's case that the sexual abuse occurred between September 2017 and April 2019, when the girl was aged around nine.

Opening the Crown case, prosecuting barrister Kate McKay told the jury that the youngster spoke to her parents last May and told them her grandfather had touched her private area.

The girl, who is now 13, told her parents that whilst staying at her grandparents house some time before her 10th birthday, her grandfather came into her bedroom and said 'will you come here a second.'

She said he then took her into his bedroom, and that after touching her on the bed, he said 'sshhhh, don't tell anybody.'

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Ms McKay said the child also told her parents that both before and after this incident in the bedroom, her grandfather kissed her "in an overtly sexual way" and "not the way a grandfather would kiss his grandchild".

Telling the jury the child didn't like her grandfather kissing her like that, Ms McKay said this occurred around 30 times, and that afterwards the accused would say 'thank you' to the girl "in a weird voice".

The girl's parents challenged the accused, and a formal complaint was made to the police. After the girl spoke to specially trained officers about the allegations in June 2019, her grandfather was arrested.

During police interviews, he accepted the girl has stayed with him and his wife at their Co Antrim home, and said that while she would have been in his bedroom at times, they were never in the room alone.

He also made the case that whilst he did kiss her on occasion, it was in a "grandfatherly way".

Ms McKay said that when asked by police why his granddaughter would have made this up, the accused said the only reason he could think was that the child's mother didn't get on with his other daughter-in-law.

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