Page last updated at 16:14 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 17:14 UK

Father's rape quash bid rejected

Scales of justice

A County Tyrone man who raped and sexually assaulted his daughter has lost an attempt to have his convictions overturned.

Judges in the Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday they were satisfied with the safety of the guilty verdict returned against the man, who is in his 40s.

He was jailed for 15 years for a series of abusive acts carried out when the girl was aged eleven and twelve.

The man cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity.

After cross-examining the victim during a two-day hearing, his legal team had claimed it was impossible to tell whether she was telling the truth or lying.

Her father was convicted at trial two years ago and put on the sex offenders' register for life.

The court heard how she had made a new statement claiming her grandmother made her tell a solicitor the original evidence she gave was false.

According to the girl, who answered questions over a video link system, this was the only way she would be allowed to stay with the relative.

We are entirely satisfied at the safety of the verdict returned against the appellant
Sir Brian Kerr

Rejecting defence claims that the conviction was unreliable, prosecuting counsel Ken McMahon QC insisted the Crown case was as strong as possible.

He pointed to evidence of physical injuries and semen found on the girl's bed and clothing.

"This was an overwhelming case," Mr McMahon said.

"Her evidence today was the truth and what she said at the trial is the correct version and that is the truth."

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr, heading the panel of judges hearing the challenge, said they were satisfied the appeal must fail.

Sir Brian added: "We are entirely satisfied at the safety of the verdict returned against the appellant."

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