Brothers on trial for sexually abusing sisters

Bishop Street Court House

Two brothers have gone on trial in Londonderry charged with sexually abusing their sisters and niece for a 25-year period.

The men - who cannot be named - face 27 charges of rape, buggery, gross indecency with a child, and indecent assault.

The offences are alleged to have taken place when the sisters were between four and nine years old.

The men deny the charges. The case is expected to last three weeks.

The prosecuting barrister apologised to the city's Crown court before outlining the some of the detail in the case, describing it as "distressing and repulsive".

She said that on occasions, the men had held down their niece and taken turns to abuse her.

She said that the two brothers went to the police voluntarily last year. When interviewed, they categorically denied having any inappropriate contact with their sisters or niece.

The barrister said the defendants described the allegetions as lies.