Man jailed for three years for sex abuse of two nieces

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A Belfast man convicted by a jury of sexually abusing his two nieces has started a three-year stint behind bars.

The 57-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of victims, was handed a four-year sentence at Belfast Crown Court.

He will spend three years in jail followed by a year on probation when he is released from prison.

As he was being led from the dock and to the cells in handcuffs by prison staff, a group of people in the public gallery called him a “dirty b*****d” and shouted “rot in hell”.

In June, the defendant was found guilty by a jury of 14 counts of indecent assault. At that time, he was released on bail, but his barrister John Orr QC revealed he revoked his own bail.

Mr Orr said: “That day, he was told he was not welcome to remain within the estate where he was living prior to the case. He left and spent the night in a hotel, and the next day, he contacted his solicitor.”

At his trial the jury heard evidence from the two sisters, who emotionally recalled how they were abused by their uncle when they visited their grandparents’ home with their mother – the defendant’s sister – in the east of Belfast in the 80s and 90s.

As well as the jail sentence he was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.