16/01/2008

Belfast Mum Faces Charge Of Sex Assault On Daughter (2)

A bizarre case of alleged sexual assault has come before the court as a County Antrim woman faces trial accused of sexually assaulting her two-year-old daughter.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, has been charged with wounding her daughter with intent.

She is also accused of indecently assaulting the child last October and child cruelty. She denies the charges.

Belfast Crown Court heard that doctors believed the child was injured up to 24 hours before being brought to hospital.

A jury of seven women and five men were told that several doctors believed the injuries were consistent with sexual assault.

A Crown prosecutor told the jury that on 5 October the woman brought her daughter to her local GP, who referred her onto hospital.

The court heard that the child was kept in hospital and was examined by another two doctors.

A PSNI investigation began and the youngster's father and grandfather were both arrested.

However, after forensic samples from both men were analysed, nothing was found to connect either to the alleged sexual assault and they were both released without charge.

The court heard it was the Crown's case the defendant was "the only adult alone" with the youngster, adding that due to "her account, given the nature of the injuries and what she said about her daughter - she caused these injuries".

(BMcC)

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