Northern Ireland

Man jailed for abusing great niece

A 60-year-old man who abused his great niece has been jailed for nine years.

The man, who cannot be named to protect her identity, abused her both in her home and while visiting his elderly mother in a Belfast nursing home.

He admitted 13 counts of sexual abuse from January 2010 to September 2013.

Belfast Crown Court was told the girl had suffered post traumatic stress disorder and had self harmed when she thought she would have to give evidence.

She "blames herself for not reporting it sooner", the court heard.

'Public protection'

The abuse came to light when the girl told her mother that he had tried to sexually assault her in a relative's home.

"The defendant was attracted to the injured party and was fully aware of her age at the time of the start of his offending," the judge said.

Jailing him, she said the nine-year sentence was "necessary for the protection of the public".

She said that if he applied for remission after serving half of his sentence, he would not be automatically freed as he would need to convince the Parole Board that he is "safe to be released".

He will also serve a further two years on licence when he is released from custody.

In addition, he was banned from working with children and "from seeking to communicate with the victim or her family".

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