Liam Adams ‘absolutely’ did not abuse two daughters, trial told

Closing speeches and submissions will begin on Monday morning

  Liam Adams: denies all charges.    Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Liam Adams: denies all charges. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Two daughters of a west Belfast man accused of subjecting their half-sister to rape and sexual abuse told a jury yesterday he had done nothing to them.

Giving evidence at the Belfast Crown Court trial of 58-year-old Liam Adams, Claire Smith said she had “absolutely not” suffered any sexual abuse at the hands of her father.

The 29-year-old married mother of two said her father “was always there” when she was growing up.

Adams is charged with 10 offences including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his 40-year-old daughter Aine on dates between March 1977 and March 1983. He denies all charges.

Aine, Mr Adams’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, has testified that between the ages of four and nine her father raped and abused her at various addresses where the family lived, including when her mother was in hospital giving birth to her brother and when she was in bed beside her brother.

Mr Adams’s 16-year-old daughter from his second marriage, who cannot be identified because of her age, also testified yesterday and was asked by defence lawyer Joe Brolly if “anything ever happened to you from your dad that ever caused you concern?”

“No,” she replied.

Later the statement of retired social worker Sheila Brannigan was read to the jury, in which she described becoming involved with the Adams family in January 1987 after the allegations were first made.

Mrs Brannigan recounted that at no time had she received a request from the RUC to ask Aine’s mother, Sarah Campbell, to meet them in the city centre.

Retired senior social worker Frances Donnelly told the jury that “at no time was that [request] ever raised, discussed or recorded”.

The jury has now heard all the evidence in the case. Closing speeches and submissions will begin on Monday morning.