Saturday 17 March 2018

Man acquitted of sexually abusing his sister 40 years ago

Fiona Ferguson

A 56-YEAR-OLD man accused of sexually abusing his sister 40 years ago has been acquitted by direction of the trial judge.

The man had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of indecent assault and three counts of unlawful carnal knowledge of his sister at their home on dates between 1971 and 1976. The complainant was aged between eight and 13 at the time.

Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley told the jury on day three of the trial after the close of the prosecution case that she had taken the decision following legal discussion yesterday to bring the case to an end.

She said that cases in which the allegations date back 30 or 40 years present a real difficulty and noted there was no corroboration or supporting evidence for what the complainant was saying.

Ms Justice O’Malley told the jurors that it would be unfair in the circumstances to allow the case to proceed and ordered a verdict of not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

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