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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Rugby star 'beat me black and blue', says estranged wife

David Tweed: terrified wife says violence lasted for years. Photo: PA
David Tweed: terrified wife says violence lasted for years. Photo: PA

Adrian Rutherford

THE estranged wife of paedophile David Tweed has told how she lived in fear of the former Irish rugby international.

Tweed, now a councillor in Ballymena, Co Antrim, is facing the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing two girls.

A jury last Wednesday found him guilty of 13 sex abuse offences over an eight-year period.

His wife Margaret yesterday recalled the terror she experienced during their volatile 23-year relationship.

Ms Tweed met her future husband in 1984 and they were married six years later.

She said that in the two decades they spent together before he left their home in 2007 when allegations of sexual assault first arose, she suffered sustained beatings.

Speaking from the Ballymoney home she once shared with the convicted sex abuser, she said Tweed had even threatened her with paramilitaries.

"He always had a temper – always," she said. "At times you would be walking on egg shells.

"The beatings started from the year dot – he would beat me black and blue.

"I would never hit him back – that would have only made things worse.

"I did leave him many times but he would always bring me back.

"Once he threatened me with paramilitaries."

A jury deliberated for more than eight hours before convicting Tweed on 13 counts of child sex abuse. He was cleared of one count of indecent assault.

Judge Alistair Devlin told him his crimes were "vile, wicked, dastardly and distasteful" and would be treated very seriously.

He is due to be sentenced in the new year. His estranged wife said she is relieved Tweed is facing a long time behind bars.

"I'm just anxiously awaiting the sentencing to see how long he gets as I don't feel like I'll ever really be rid of him," she added.

"If he hadn't been convicted, I think I would have moved away. But justice has been served."

Irish Independent

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