Man accused of sexually abusing stepdaughter
A Belfast man has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter over a three-year period.
The 30-year-old accused, who cannot be named to protect the identify of the young complainant, is facing a total of seven charges, including sexual assault of a child and attempted rape. He denies all seven counts.
The Crown alleges the attacks took place from August 2009 to September 2012 at a family home in the east of the city when the girl was aged between 10 and 12.
Crown prosecutor Kate McKay yesterday set out the case against the accused at Belfast Crown Court.
She told the jury that when the accused started a relationship with the girl's mother and moved in with them, he effectively filled the 'stepfather' role.
Saying that he used to call the girl in question his 'blue-eye' as she was his favourite, the prosecutor said the girl became aware of the abuse after an incident where he asked her to lie down with him in his bedroom.
The court heard that she fell asleep on the bed and when she woke the accused was sexually assaulting her.
Mrs McKay told the court that after the incident "she remembers there were other times he asked her to lie down on the bed with him... and she recalls the same thing happening".
The man is also accused of, but denies, attempting to rape the youngster as she brushed her teeth in the bathroom.
Mrs McKay told the jury that while the girl didn't tell anyone what was happening at first, "in due course she did make disclosures to people".
The trial continues.