Monday 16 October 2017

Judge in Adams rape case seeks probation reports

Liam Adams: convicted of raping his daughter Aine
Liam Adams: convicted of raping his daughter Aine

David Young

THE judge responsible for sentencing the convicted sex-offender brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has asked for further legal submissions before considering her decision.

Judge Corinne Philpott requested additional information from the probation authorities on what they believe to be an appropriate level of supervision for Liam Adams when he is eventually released.

The 58-year-old from west Belfast was convicted last month of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter Aine Dahlstrom in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In a mention hearing at Belfast Crown Court, the judge said she would begin her deliberations once she had the probation officer's report and had received any related legal submissions from the defence.

She stressed the need to get the issue dealt with as soon as was practical.

Adams's barrister Eilis McDermott said her client was also keen to know what his jail term would be.

"Mr Adams is anxious to know his fate," she said.

Earlier this week at the substantive pre-sentence hearing, the prosecution urged the judge to jail him for at least 15 years.

SAFETY

In mitigation, the defence highlighted the paedophile's health problems and claimed the conditions of his sentence were set to be "more onerous" than other prisoners due to the fact that he would have to be held in high-security accommodation over fears for his safety.

Adams's convictions on 10 counts of rape and sexual assault have seen pressure heaped upon his high-profile brother Gerry Adams to explain why he did not alert the authorities to the abuse allegations when he first learned of them.

During a first trial of Liam Adams earlier this year, which ultimately collapsed, the Sinn Fein leader, now a TD, claimed that he first heard of the sex-abuse claims in 1987 and that 13 years later Liam admitted his guilt to him.

The former west Belfast MP has been criticised for not informing police at the time of the revelations, as his statements to detectives were not made until 2007 and 2009.

PSNI officers ultimately made a recommendation to the Public Prosecution Service that no prosecution be taken against him.

Northern Ireland's police ombudsman has since launched a formal investigation into whether detectives properly examined if Gerry Adams covered up the crimes, while the PSNI has pledged to review the case. Attorney-general John Larkin is examining the role of prosecutors.

Gerry Adams has insisted that he committed no offence and accused political rivals of exploiting a family issue in order to attack him.

Irish Independent

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