Man Jailed For Stepdaughter Abuse

A 40-year-old man who faked his own suicide in a bid to avoid justice over the rape and abuse of his stepdaughter, has been jailed for 10 years. Belfast Crown Court heard he subjected his victim to horrific assaults over an 11-month period when she was 13.

When due to stand trial two years ago he failed to show up in court. When police searched for him they found some of his clothes on a beach and an apparent suicide note at his home. He was, however, found and re-arrested. Just before the trial started he pleaded guilty to all the charges against him.

The man, who cannot be identified to protect his victim, admitted to a charge of rape, one of attempted rape, five of indecent assault, and four relating to incidents of gross indecency.

Judge Kevin Finnegan ordering him to sign the police sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life. He said there were a “significant number” of aggravating features in the case, not least the breach of trust “and a degree of grooming”.

Prosecution told the court the offences came about as a result of the relationship the man had had with his victim’s mother and that despite the pair splitting, the girl had “become close” to him and so would sometimes stay at his house.