Man jailed for nine years for sexual abuse of stepdaughters in Derry

A 51-year-old man who indecently assaulted his two step daughters has been jailed for nine years at Derry Crown Court.
The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims admitted 33 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency against one of the children and one count against the other.

The charges date from December 1990 until January 2001 when the children were aged 9 and 12.
The court heard a litany of how the defendant abused the child including touching her and making her touch him.
The court heard that the man had been in a relationship with the children’s mother for some years and eventually married her and that most of the abuse took place in the family home.
The abuse of one child lasted some nine years while there was just one occasion with the other child.
In 2005 disclosures were made and the defendant was thrown out of the family home.
In early 2006 the defendant went to police and made full admissions although no complaint had yet been made against him.
Judge Philip Babington said that both victims had suffered as a result of the abuse which occurred over ‘a protracted period of time.’
The defendant was living in the Irish republic when the police came looking for him and he agreed to be extradited.
The judge said it was ‘most grave offending within a family setting’ and the victims will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.
He imposed a custody probation order on the defendant totalling nine years of which six and a half will be spent in custody and two and a half on probation.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for an indefinite period and a sexual offenders prevention order was imposed also for an indefinite period.