Northern Ireland

Farmer acquitted of sexually abusing former partner's daughter

Antrim Courthouse
Image caption The case was heard at Antrim Crown Court

A 37-year-old farmer has been cleared of raping and sexually abusing his former partner's daughter.

The jury at Antrim Crown Court acquitted the Larne man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, of a total of seven charges.

The teenager had claimed the offences happened in August 2009 in the house she shared with her mother and the man.

The farmer had always maintained that the pair had invented the allegations as part of a cover-up.

During the three week trial it was claimed the farmer had plied the teenager with drink, even going to buy more alcohol when they had drunk what was in the house, and that he forced her to watch a pornographic video.

It was also alleged that at one stage he also unlawfully imprisoned her in a bedroom, of which he was also acquitted.

The court was told that when arrested, the man told detectives that they had stolen money from his farm and had made up the story of rape and sex abuse because of it.

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