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58-year-old former Derry taxi man who sexually abused two sisters over thirty years ago is jailed for eighteen months
2 Jul 2018
A fifty-eight years old local man who was convicted in May of sexually abusing two sisters over thirty years ago, before and after he married their oldest sister, has been jailed for eighteen months at the Crown Court in Derry. Martin Leonard, a former barman, construction worker and a former taxi driver from Fergleen Park, was found unanimously guilty of seven charges of indecently assaulting the two sisters, one of them between 1977 and 1981 and the other between 1985 and 1989. The assaults took place when the girls were aged between twelve and sixteen years of age, mainly in Leonard's car and in the girls' family home. Leonard had previously been granted anonymity but his two victims last week waived their rights to anonymity to enable him to be named. Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey said it was a clear breach of trust series of sexual offending over a prolonged period of time against two girls who were youthful, innocent and vulnerable. She said despite the jury's unanimous guilty verdicts on each of the seven charges, Leonard still maintained his innocence and was in denial. Judge McCaffery said because of Leonard's denial of the offences, the two victims had to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence and of being cross-examined about at times intimate matters. Leonard will spend six months of the sentence in prison and twelve months on probation. He will also be subject to the notifications of the Sexual Offences Act for a period of ten years and he is barred from working with children and vulnerable adults, also for ten years.
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