Belfast Telegraph

Uncle accused of raping his niece admits to incest but says it was consensual, court told

The defendant was arrested and during interview accepted sex had taken place but was adamant it was consensual (stock photo)
The defendant was arrested and during interview accepted sex had taken place but was adamant it was consensual (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

An Enniskillen man has gone on trial accused of raping his niece in an alleged incident over two years ago, which he accepts was incest but maintains sex was at her instigation.

The accused, who is aged in his fifties and cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, denied hearing her tell him, "Get off me. This is incest".

His trial got underway on Tuesday at Dungannon Crown Court before a jury of five women and seven men.

Counsel for the Public Prosecution Service, Charles McCreanor QC, outlined the details of the case explaining the incident allegedly occurred on April 30 2017, after an evening socialising, when the defendant put the complainant to bed as she was intoxicated.

She considered him "a friend and trustworthy". Having thanked him, she claims he kissed her on the mouth which she felt was "weird". It is alleged the defendant then climbed into bed beside his niece, stripped off her clothes and raped her.

The complainant described trying to push him away saying "Get off me. This is incest." But he replied, "It's okay," and continued.

The complainant believes she must have passed out but on waking the next day, "it all came flooding back".

Distressed she immediately sent a text to her uncle reading: "Stay away from me."

She then contacted two close friends who came to her home at once and police were called.

The defendant was arrested and during interview accepted sex had taken place but was adamant it was consensual.

Mr McCreanor said this is not a case where (the defendant) disputed sex took place. "He says it did, but was consensual. In fact, he says (the complainant) instigated it, telling him what to do. He claims she kissed him and he reciprocated," he said.

Asked during police interview if the complainant objected and mentioned incest, the defendant responded: "Not that I know of."

A video-recorded interview with the complainant was played to court during which she broke down in tears several times as she described the alleged incident. She was holding a party for some friends in her home on the evening in question, "having a few drinks and enjoying the craic".

Around 7.30pm, her uncle sent a text asking: "Can I call up? Trouble at home."

She confirmed this was fine and he arrived some 30 minutes later. The atmosphere was good and the uncle was described as "normal, happy-go-lucky".

"We always got on well," the complainant added.

He didn't broach the subject of what he meant by "trouble at home" in his text message, and the complainant assumed this was because other people were present.

At around 9pm three male friends decided to leave to go to a pub.

That left two female friends and the defendant with the complainant, who said on a scale of 1-10 of being drunk, she was about 6, but "in really good humour".

As the evening wore on more alcohol was consumed and the two female friends decided to leave. The complainant wanted to go to bed, but required assistance due to the amount of alcohol she had taken, accepting: "I was p*****. I could hardly walk."

The uncle held her as she climbed the stairs and put her into bed, fully clothed.

But the complainant alleges he also got into bed, before stripping off her clothes and raping her.

This concluded evidence for the first day in a trial expected to last around a week.

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