Coleraine abuse trial 'to end next week'

Coleraine abuse trial 'to end next week'

The trial of three Londonderry men accused of years of child abuse is expected to end next week.

The jury at Coleraine Courthouse has heard allegations that two brothers and a family friend raped and abused the children of one of the defendants.The trial had initially been time-tabled for a further month. The three accused cannot be named in order to avoid identifying their alleged victims.They are two brothers in their 50s and a third man in his 40s.Together they face more than 50 charges including child cruelty, rape and other very serious sexual offences.The allegations date back to the 1990s and they come from the son and daughter of one of the brothers, who told the jury they were aged just six and seven when the alleged abuse began.The jury has heard them say they were targeted while on access visits to the home of their estranged father.The defendants have all taken the witness stand to deny the allegations.Initially, it was expected that this trial would last for up to six weeks.But after just two weeks, the court has been told that almost all of the oral evidence has been completed.On Monday morning, it is expected that lawyers for the prosecution will begin their closing speech to the jury.Then the defence will give three speeches - one for each of the defendants.After that the trial Judge, Mr Gordon Kerr QC, will then address the six men and six women of the jury and he has told them that they are likely to be considering their verdict by next Wednesday.

© UTV

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