Northern Ireland

Liam Adams convicted of raping and abusing daughter

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Media captionLiam Adams has been found guilty of abusing his daughter

Liam Adams, a brother of Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, has been convicted of raping and abusing his daughter.

Adams, 58, from Bernagh Drive, Belfast, was found guilty of ten offences, including rape and gross indecency, against his daughter, Áine Adams.

The abuse was committed over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983, when she was aged between four and nine.

Áine Adams said she could begin her life at 40 and "lay to rest the memory of the five-year-old who was abused".

In a statement, read out by a police officer, she said: "I do not see this verdict as a victory, nor a celebration, as it has taken its toll and has caused hurt, heartache and anguish to all those involved."

Áine Adams had waived her right to anonymity throughout the trial.

Liam Adams consistently denied the charges throughout the two-week trial.

Birth

However, a jury of nine men and three women convicted Adams on all charges, following four hours of deliberation, with a majority verdict of eleven to one.

Details of the abuse were outlined during the trial including how Áine Adams had been raped while her mother gave birth in hospital to her brother.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Liam Adams said the abuse did not happen.

The court also heard how Gerry Adams had accompanied his niece, Áine, and her mother to Buncrana in County Donegal to confront Liam Adams about the allegations.

She was just 13 but although she made a complaint to the police in 1987, she did not pursue it until 2007 when Liam Adams was arrested.

The allegations were first reported when his daughter took part in a documentary in 2009 for Northern Ireland's independent, commercial television station, UTV.

Second trial

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Media captionA statement by Aine Adams was read by a PSNI officer outside court.

This was the second trial. The first trial collapsed in April for legal reasons.

Adams handed himself in to police in Dublin in 2010 after a European arrest warrant was issued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

He was extradited to Northern Ireland in November 2011 after losing a legal battle to remain in the Republic of Ireland, where he had been living.

Adams said he had feared he would not get a fair trial in the north.

In a statement, issued on Tuesday night, Gerry Adams said: "This has been a difficult and distressing ordeal for all my family and for my niece, Áine

"I would ask the media to respect our right to space and privacy.

"I thank the many people who have sent messages of support and solidarity."

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