Paedophile (57) found guilty of abusing his two young nieces over two decades
A 57-year-old man has been ordered to sign the sex offenders' register after he was found guilty by a jury of indecently assaulting his two nieces.
The east Belfast paedophile, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, showed no emotion as a jury yesterday returned unanimous guilty verdicts on 14 counts of indecent assault.
Despite denials of any wrongdoing to both police and the jury at Belfast Crown Court, he was convicted on all charges.
During a trial that spanned two weeks the jury heard evidence from both victims, who emotionally recalled how they were abused by their uncle when they visited their grandparents' home with their mother - the defendant's sister - in the Eighties and Nineties.
One of the women revealed how she was abused by her uncle from aged eight until she was 15, while the other complainant said she was first abused after she finished P7 in 1988, with the abuse continuing until 1992.
He was aged between 26 and 32 when he indecently assaulted them on numerous occasions.
The first victim recalled the abuse beginning with "small acts", but as she got older and the abuse continued she began wearing extra clothes to try and stop him from touching her.
The abuse ended when she was in her teens, and she told the jury that she was encouraged by a counsellor to think about what happened to her as an adult.
Several months before she went to the police she wrote a letter to her uncle telling him how she felt about what he did to her when she was a child.
This letter was posted through his letterbox in November 2016, and as a result family members became aware of her allegations. This led to her sister also disclosing she had been abused by him as a child.
She wrote a letter to her uncle's wife before contacting police. As she gave evidence, she said she was first abused in the summer of 1988 in her grandparents' house following a medical procedure, and that further indecent assaults occurred in her uncle's bedroom.
The defendant was interviewed in July 2017 and denied abusing his nieces.
He maintained this when giving evidence at the trial, and claimed he had done nothing wrong and spoke of a family feud as a possible reason for the allegations. However, his version of events was rejected by the jury, who returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all charges.
Judge Stephen Fowler QC thanked the jury for the "close attention" they gave the case.
He then adjourned sentencing the defendant until August 12 and said this would allow time for pre-sentence reports to be compiled on the defendant and for victim impact statements to be taken.
The defendant was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register.