Derry man charged with raping six year old girl

A 42-year-old man has gone on trial at Derry Crown Court charged with raping and indecently assaulting a  girl over a nine year period.

The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim faced a total of 18 charges including three counts of rape and 15 counts of indecent assault against the girl which were alleged to have started when she was six.

The man denied all the charges which were said to have occurred between May 1995 and May 2004.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Mr. Philip Mateer QC said the girl would have been in the care of the man at two addresses in Derry when the offences were said to have happened.

He told the jury of 7 men and 5 women they would hear evidence of how the man 'repeatedly' abused the girl and raped her.

Mr. Mateer said there would also be evidence of the defendant making her drink alcohol and then when she fell asleep on the chair she would wake up on the sofa with the man raping her.

The jury was also told that on one occasion the man's wife had entered the bedroom where the man was attempting to abuse the girl and pushed him out and moved the child into her own bed.

The man who is originally from Derry but residing in the Republic was arrested by the Gardai and questioned about the allegations but he denied them.

The case is expected to last one week.