Liam Adams appeals conviction for raping daughter

Brother of Sinn Fein president was sentenced last year to 16 years in prison for crimes

 Liam Adams was found guilty last year of a string of attacks on Aine Dahlstrom when she was aged between four and nine in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Liam Adams was found guilty last year of a string of attacks on Aine Dahlstrom when she was aged between four and nine in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 19:06

The paedophile brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has mounted an appeal bid against his conviction and sentence for raping and sexually abusing his daughter.

Liam Adams (58) from west Belfast, was found guilty last year of a string of attacks on Aine Dahlstrom when she was aged between four and nine in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He was subsequently handed a 16-year sentence, only half of which he is expected to spend behind bars.

The Lord Chief Justice’s office in Belfast has confirmed that Mr Adams’s lawyers have applied to seek leave to appeal both conviction and sentence.

Liam Adams, from Bernagh Drive, was found guilty of 10 offences against Mrs Dahlstrom — three counts of rape, four of indecent assault and three of gross indecency.

The opportunist predator committed the crimes when he was left alone with his daughter, often sneaking into her room while she slept.

The abuse was committed over a five-year period between 1977 and 1981. In later years he went on to work in a number of youth centres in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Mrs Dahlstrom, now 40, has waived her right to anonymity.

The conviction heaped pressure on Gerry Adams to explain why he did not alert the authorities to the abuse allegations when he initially learned of them.

During a first trial last year, which collapsed, the Sinn Fein leader claimed he first heard of the sex abuse claims in 1987 and, 13 years later, his younger brother admitted his guilt to him while the pair were walking in the rain.

The former west Belfast MP faced criticism for not informing police about the alleged confession for another nine years.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers recommended the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) take no action against the Sinn Fein veteran.

Northern Ireland’s police ombudsman is now investigating if detectives properly examined whether Gerry Adams covered up the crimes and the PSNI has pledged to review the case. Northern Ireland’s attorney general John Larkin is examining the role of prosecutors.

Gerry Adams has insisted he committed no offence and accused political rivals of exploiting a family issue to attack him.

PA

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