Thursday, 3 July 2008

Woman jailed for sex attack on infant daughter

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A mother-of-three who was found guilty by a jury of sexually assaulting her young daughter was last night starting a two year prison sentence. The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the youngster, was also ordered to serve two years post-custodial supervision and was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. Telling the 28-year old woman in the dock of Belfast Crown Court that he had an obligation to protect children, His Honour Judge Tom Burgess said: " I hardly slept last night trying to find out what went wrong that particular day." The Co Antrim woman stood trial earlier this year on three charges relating to an incident involving her two-and-a-half year old daughter on October 5, 2006. The jury heard the toddler woke from an afternoon nap and when her mother went to change her, she noticed blood in the child's nappy. She took her daughter to their local GP who immediately referred the child to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast where three medics concluded she had been sexually assaulted with an object. The girl's mother provided the doctors with a brief history of events in the hours leading up to blood being found in the nappy. She said she was the only adult in contact with the girl during the time the doctors concluded the injuries occurred. A PSNI investigation was launched and the youngster's father and grandfather were both arrested. After forensic samples from both men were analysed, nothing was found to connect either to the sexual assault and they were both released. As the investigation continued, the child's mother was arrested and subsequently charged with wounding her daughter with intent and indecently assaulting her. She was also charged with child cruelty.

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