Man found guilty of raping four-year-old girl
A 26-year old Co Antrim man was remanded in custody today (Friday) after being found guilty by a jury of raping his partner's four-year old daughter.
The jury of seven men and five women took less than an hour to return the unanimous guilty verdict at Belfast Crown Court.
During a trial which has spanned two weeks, the jury heard that the youngster was brought to Antrim Area Hospital after she was sexually assaulted in the house her mother shared with the defendant on November 13, 2013. The jury also heard how the couple had met on the internet.
She was raped by the man she called 'Daddy' whilst her mother attended an evening class.
The youngster's mother initially lied about how her daughter sustained an injury to her private parts. She claimed that she swiped the youngster's hand away from her private area whilst in the shower - but she has since admitted this was a lie as she was not present when the injury was sustained, and pleaded guilty to a charge of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.
Giving evidence at his trial, the defendant claimed that he put the girl in the shower, and that following the shower he wrapped her in a towel then took her into the bedroom to get her dressed and dry her hair.
He said that later that evening, when he went to put the girl's pyjamas on, he noticed blood in her pants.
The defendant claimed that the girl's mother told him that if anyone asked, to say it was she who had showered the child and not him.
From the witness stand, he said "she said I needed to say that and I went along with it."
He also claimed that when showering the youngster, he turned round to get shampoo and when he turned back, he noticed her hands were around her private parts and he swiped her hand away.
However, several medics who examined the girl in hospital determined that an internal injury that she sustained could not have been caused by swiping a hand away, and concluded it was a "non-accidental injury" caused by deliberate penetration.
When the foreman of the jury delivered the unanimous guilty verdict, the defendant showed no emotion as he stood in the dock.
Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered pre-sentence reports be compiled, as well as a victim impact report.
He remanded the 26-year old in custody and said he would be sentenced, alongside the girl's mother, on April 17.
Belfast Telegraph Digital