Belfast Telegraph

Perverted paedophile brothers given 51 years for abusing own family

BY MICHAEL DONNELLY

Two paedophile brothers have been jailed for over 50 years for an appalling litany of child sex abuse involving two generations of their own family.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC told the Londonderry men that their abuse – first of their sister, and then the daughter of the younger brother and a niece of the elder – showed a level cruelty and depravity that would not be tolerated by society.

The younger brother, aged 50, was given the higher sentence of 28 years because he had also sexually abused his son, in addition to his sister and daughter.

His 56-year-old brother was jailed for 23 years for firstly abusing his sister, which he blamed on underage drinking, and then for joining his brother in the destruction of his daughter's life.

The pair – not named to protect the identities of their victims – admitted abusing their sister, but maintained their innocence in respect of the 38 other charges of sex abuse, which they were convicted of last month by a Crown Court jury, including rape, indecent assaults and cruelty.

They are planning to appeal those convictions.

Jailing the brothers, Judge Kerr said their sister had described the elder brother, who began the abuse, "as pure evil", while her other brother, who later joined in, she described as "a fool".

She later talked of having "so many memories of being abused practically every day", and while her mother was aware of her pain, she did nothing about it.

However, Judge Kerr was more scathing in his remarks, telling the brothers that it was "truly hard to imagine the distruction of a childhood suffered by the victim at the hands of her brothers".

Later, while sentencing the younger brother for the abuse of his daughter, Judge Kerr said his rape, cruelty and abuse had revealed "a level of depraved behaviour which is almost unprecedented".

Judge Kerr also told the man that his abuse of his son again showed "a callous attitude... and further illustrated the level of depravity and cruelty exhibited by this defendant" on those he should have been close to and protective of.

Their 14 day trial, held in Coleraine, heard only of the abuse of the son and daughter of the younger brother. He began sexually abusing his son and daughter in the early 1990s, when they were aged just six and seven. His older brother joined him in the abuse of his niece.

The victims told the court of suffering prolonged physical abuse – beatings, throttlings, being burnt with cigarettes – which then escalated into serious sexual assaults including multiple rapes, lasting for several years and ending when the girl was 14 and the boy was 11.

BACKGROUND

The court heard that in 1998 the children told Social Services about the abuse, but they had to wait four years before anyone would believe them. During their trial the brothers protested their innocence. However, the jury had already heard the brothers were convicted child abusers, having admitted abusing their sister from when she was four and continuing until she was 18.

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