Four children 'abused by parents'

Four children 'abused by parents'

Belfast Crown Court has heard the horrific sexual abuse and cruelty a boy and his three young sisters suffered at the hands of their own parents, uncles and others who visited their home dating back 30 years.

On Friday the prosecution QC told the court the abuse took place from the late 1970s until the children were taken into care when they were aged between eight and 11.The judge heard that not only were they sexually abused by their mother, but she also made them watch her having sex on numerous occasions with different men usually while drunk - and sometimes with two of her brothers.The court heard details from a social worker's report who said their home was filthy and infested with mice, the children had no sheets or blankets on their beds and the windows were broken.It said the children were cold, hungry and one child was made to lie on a heavily soiled mattress.The children's mother has pleaded guilty to six charges of gross indecency against a child, as well as 17 charges of child cruelty.The father has pleaded guilty to 17 charges of cruelty.The prosecution described how he subjected his children to numerous severe beatings.Four others, including two of the children's uncles, also pleaded guilty to a number of offences including assault, indecent assault and gross indecency.Two of the children, now adults, were in court on Friday to hear the prosecution tell the court their childhood years were ruined and that they had no means to prevent or escape from the abuse.On Friday afternoon, the defence QC for the mother described his client as having a "low intellect, generally inept, prone to addiction and sustained periods of depression".He said she had failed and failed markedly with her children but said she does not have the profile of a predatory paedophile, more the "pathetic than the predatory".The defendants are due to be sentenced on Tuesday.


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