30 Sep 2009

From the society of sick people

Three men have been convicted of raping a member of their own family as she grew up.

The three, who cannot be named to protect the victim, were the woman's stepfather, step-uncle and step-cousin.

The judge at Cardiff Crown Court told the men, who had denied all charges, they face long prison terms when they are sentenced next month.

The court had previously heard that the woman was abused from the age of five to 22, and she became pregnant at 14.

The step-uncle, 55, was convicted of seven counts of rape, three of indecency with a child and one of indecent assault.

The stepfather, 50, and step-cousin, 27, were each convicted of three rapes.

The court was told that both the step-uncle and stepfather are illegal immigrants.

Libby Jones, Chief Executive of New Pathways describes the importance of SARCs in sexual abuse cases

Judge Patrick Curran adjourned sentence until 16 October and told the men they inevitably faced long periods of imprisonment.

In the case of the stepfather and step-uncle, he said he was considering indefinite sentences for public protection.

During the trial, the court was told that when the woman fell pregnant at the age of 14 she was hidden away, sometimes in a wardrobe.

The jury heard the woman allegedly told her mother that her step-uncle was the father but was not believed.

Prosecutor Marion Lewis said the first time she saw a doctor, she was seven months pregnant.

"When the baby was born the girl's parents told friends and neighbours it was their own - before flying their daughter to India for an arranged marriage," she said.

'Repeatedly abused'

The step-uncle agreed in court he was the father of her child but told the jury he had not found out until much later once DNA tests were carried out.

Miss Lewis said the girl went to police last year and told officers she had been repeatedly abused from the age of five.

"She was frightened and also believed her mother knew what was going on," she said.

"When aged 14 and a pupil at school, her stomach was expanding and a scan revealed she was seven months pregnant.

"Her mother beat her all over her body apart from the face with a curtain pole."

The jury had been told that when the girl was 18, she was married in India before later returning to the family in Cardiff.

Miss Lewis said: "Back in Cardiff the abuse resumed and her husband later divorced her."

While her step-uncle continued his abuse, the court heard that her stepfather and step-cousin then raped her as well.

From the BBC

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