Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone pensioner accused of child sex abuse 'wanted to take lie detector test'

By Staff Reporter

A Co Tyrone pensioner demanded to take a lie detector test after allegations involving the historic sexual abuse of four female family members were put to him by police, a court has heard.

Accepting the charges were serious and describing them as "dangerous, terrible lies", the Strabane man alluded to a row over property as triggering the allegations.

The accused, who is aged in his 80s, cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims.

He is on trial at Dungannon Crown Court over a litany of charges, alleged to have spanned a 12-year period.

He faces 22 counts of indecent assault and single counts of gross indecency with a child and inciting gross indecency with a child.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates between March 1984 and April 1996, with the injured parties claiming they were aged between eight and 10 when first abused. All charges are denied.

The prosecution contend that the accused and his wife would call at the girls' family home on a reasonably regular basis. The wife would stay downstairs talking to other family members, but the defendant would go upstairs to the girls' bedrooms.

The court heard the injured parties described him "messing about, grabbing and tickling them", kissing their faces and trying to touch them in intimate areas. They said he would lie on top of them or press them against a wall.

As the prosecution case drew to a close yesterday, transcripts of the accused's police interview were read to the court, in which he denied all allegations, describing them as "a tissue of lies".

When the investigating officer put the girls' claims to the defendant, he responded: "It's lies, pure lies. I never touched any of them. I am shocked. I'm more than shocked, I'm angry. The allegations are false, totally false. The whole family is lying.

"There is not one single word is truth. I categorically deny all allegations. I am prepared to do a lie detector. It may not be proof in court but I am prepared to go through it."

The court heard on being told the PSNI does not carry out lie detector tests, the accused said: "I'm going to demand it. Everything I'm telling you is the truth. Everything else is a tissue of lies. It's a waste of police time, but fair play, it will all come out."

He accepted the charges were serious, before repeating his call for a lie detector test. He added: "This is a row over property."

Under defence cross-examination, the investigating officer confirmed the accused attended for interview on a voluntary basis, answered all questions put to him and has no previous convictions of any kind.

She also confirmed: "It isn't common for persons to request a lie detector test but it is never relied upon nor offered by PSNI."

The defence is now expected to begin its case.

Belfast Telegraph

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