A south Belfast man started a four-year prison sentence yesterday after he was convicted of sexually abusing two of his nieces.
The 64-year old father-of-three will spend an additional two years on probation following his release, after he was found guilty of 14 separate counts of indecently assault.
During a trial at Belfast Crown Court last month, a jury heard how the two cousins were each targeted at their uncle’s then home in the Lisburn Road area.
Despite denials, he was convicted of indecently assaulting one girl between April 1974 when she was eight, and the following September when she was nine.
The second girl’s abuse began in September 1978, when she was seven, and continued until the end of 1982.
Trial judge His Honour Geoffrey Miller QC said an aggravating feature was the defendant’s continual denials of wrong-doing.
Judge Miller said the two victims were “carrying the impact of abuse for many years”. He revealed that while one of the females displays signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, her cousin has been diagnosed with an adjustment order.
A defence barrister spoke of his client’s good work history and highlighted his clear record. The barrister told Judge Miller: “There is nothing to suggest there has been any repetition in almost 35 years.”
Judge Miller spoke of the breach of trust in a family setting. The judge said that while he accepted the man’s lack of further offending, he highlighted a lack of remorse from the defendant.