A 26-year-old Co Antrim man has been found guilty by a jury of raping his partner’s four-year-old daughter.
The jury of seven men and five women took less than an hour to return the unanimous guilty verdict at Belfast Crown Court.
During a trial which spanned two weeks, the jury heard that the youngster was brought to Antrim Area Hospital after she was sexually assaulted in the house her mother shared with the defendant on November 13, 2013.
She was raped by the man she called ‘daddy’ while her mother attended an evening class.
The youngster’s mother initially lied about how her daughter sustained an injury to her private parts. She claimed that she swiped the youngster’s hand away from her private area whilst in the shower – but she has since admitted this was a lie as she was not present when the injury was sustained, and pleaded guilty to a charge of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.
However, several medics who examined the girl in hospital determined that an internal injury that she sustained could not have been caused by swiping a hand away, and concluded it was a “non-accidental injury” caused by deliberate penetration.
Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered pre-sentence reports be compiled, as well as a victim impact report.
He remanded the 26-year-old in custody and said he would be sentenced, alongside the girl’s mother, on April 17.