Monday 23 April 2018

Man on trial accused of abusing his sister three decades ago

Fiona Ferguson

A MAN has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of sexually abusing his sister 30 years ago.

The 56-year-old man has pleaded not guilty 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 alleged victim was aged between eight and 13 years old at the time.

Michael Durack SC, prosecuting, told the jury in opening the case that the man was charged under statutes that were relevant at the time. He said indecent assault is now referred to as sexual assault and unlawful carnal knowledge is rape as it was phrased at the time.

He said the complainant was under 15 years old at the time and could not consent under law.

Mr Durack told the jury the woman did not make a complaint to gardai until 2010. The accused was contacted and agreed to come to the garda station by appointment. He was interviewed before being arrested and charged the following year.

He said the accused man denied completely all the allegations in interview and has always done so.

Mr Durack outlined the allegations he said would be made by the complainant beginning in the summer of 1971 when the woman alleges her brother called her in from the garden to a back bedroom where he made her squeeze his penis before putting it in her mouth.

He said there was another alleged incident shortly afterwards in which the accused also asked her to touch his penis and a third incident in which he put his penis inside her.

Mr Durack said the next alleged offence occurred in a back bedroom in summer 1972 when the accused put his penis into her mouth.

Counsel said there was another alleged incident in 1974 in which the accused put his penis inside the complainant and a final allegation in 1976 when the alleged victim was 13 years old.

He asked the jury to bear in mind that these were old complaints and said there would not be corroborating evidence as they allegedly happened in secrecy. He added that there would be no medical or DNA evidence.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley and a jury of four woman and eight men.

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