Saturday 17 February 2018

Jury in sexual abuse trial sent home for weekend

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A jury in the trial of a man accused of sexually abusing his two nieces and their neighbour as children has been sent home for the weekend to resume deliberations on Monday.

The 51-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 91 charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault of three girls in a Carlow town between February 1978 and December 1986.

The man has been charged with 28 counts of indecently assaulting and 26 charges of raping a first complainant from the time she was almost seven until she was 13 years old.

He has been charged with 25 counts of indecently assaulting and one count of raping a second complainant, her old sister, from when she was seven to 12 years old.

The man is also charged with 10 counts of indecently assaulting the girls’ next door neighbour and attempting to rape her on one occasion when she was between eight and 13 years old.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy directed the jury to acquit the man on one count of indecently assaulting the younger niece on dates between May and August, 1986. The jury must reach a decision on all remaining charges against the man.

The accused took the stand earlier in the trial to dismiss all allegations against him as “absolute lies”.

His younger niece told the jury he would bribe her into his room with the promise of a Walnut Whip or to listen to his Wombles record before he sexually abused her.

The second complainant, the accused’s older niece, alleged he would make her take his penis in her mouth about twice a week from when she was seven to 12 years old.

The third complainant, a childhood neighbour, told the jury that when she was aged between ten and 11 the man tried to insert his penis into her vagina but told her she was too small for it to fit.

Mr Justice McCarthy will direct the three women and nine men of the jury to resume deliberations on Monday.

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