A 49 year-old man who sexually abused his eight year-old niece when he was 15 years-old was yesterday jailed for eight months.

Alwyn Victor Donnell, of Rushcroft Gardens, was found guilty of indecent assault and gross indecency following a trial at Derry Crown Court.

The offences took place between January 1979 and December 1980.

Donnell can be named after the injured party waived her right to anonymity.

Derry Crown Court heard that Donnell abused his niece when she was eight years-old on two occasions between January 1979 and December 1980. Donnell was 15 at the time.

The court heard that Donnell was babysitting his niece in her own home when the abuse took place.

When Donnell asked his young niece to ‘play karate’ he lay on top of her on the ground. He then kissed her and made her masturbate him.

On a separate occasion, Donnell touched his niece's genitalia and penetrated her with his finger.

Donnell then asked his niece to ‘play karate’ on a third occasion when her parents had been out of the house to play bingo.

However, the injured party refused Donnell and threatened that she would tell her parents about what had taken place on the previous occasions.

The court heard that the victim said she only realised that she had been sexually abused after reading an article on the subject when she was 19 years-old.

The injured party said she had received counselling as a result of the abuse but had not reported the matter to police until September 2012.

Donnell continues to maintain he is innocent, despite the guilty verdicts of the jury.

However, Donnell told a probation officer he hopes that his niece can get on with her life and that he did not hold any grudges against her.

The court was told that Donnell had considered lodging an appeal against the conviction but felt that ‘both he and the injured party have suffered enough’.

Crown Court Judge Philip Babington said it was evident that the injured party had suffered as a result of the sexual abuse in her childhood.

Judge Babington said it could only be hoped that the trial and conviction of Donnell would ‘allow some closure for her and allow some of her family to re-evaluate their stance to her’.


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