Man cleared of indecently assaulting his niece

A 47-year-old man on trial for indecently assaulting his niece when she was eight about 30 years ago testified yesterday that there was no way he would be capable of doing something like that.

After only 10 minutes of deliberation, the jury reached unanimous verdicts of not guilty on all charges at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

The defendant was accused of getting his niece to perform oral sex on him when he babysat for her.

Yesterday, he said: “There is no possible way I done it, no possible way.”

He said he only babysat twice for her while his sister, the defendant’s mother, was at bingo.

Recalling when she rang him a few years ago to confront him about the alleged indecent assault, he said: “I was shocked. There were no problems with [complainant] before, no problems with her or my wife. I could not believe it. I could not do something like this, there is no possible way I would be capable of something like this.”

Pearse Sreenan, prosecution barrister, asked him why he said to gardaí, “it was harmless, kids being kids”. The accused replied that this was not his description of the claims and that it might have been something his brother or other sister said when he told them the allegations.

The complainant claimed her uncle used to babysit for her and her brothers and that he would come in to her bedroom and get her to “kiss his willy” and she went on to describe a number of alleged incidents, including ones of her performing oral sex on her uncle when he on occasions put his fingers in her vagina.

Following legal argument yesterday morning, the judge directed the jury to find the accused not guilty on two of the nine charges. They later reached their own not guilty verdict on the remaining seven charges.


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