Jury in Liam Adams trial to consider verdict

Prosecution and defence give final statements on alleged sexual abuse of daughter Áine Adams

Liam Adams at Laganside Courts. The 58-year-old denies abusing his daughter Áine.

Liam Adams at Laganside Courts. The 58-year-old denies abusing his daughter Áine.

 


The jury in the trial of Liam Adams, who is charged with the sexual abuse of his daughter Áine, yesterday heard the final charge from the judge and final statements from the prosecution and defence.

The nine men and three women will today start considering their verdict. Liam Adams (58), from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast, denies 10 charges of sexual assault against his daughter Áine, now aged 40 – three of rape, three of gross indecency and four of indecent assault.

It is alleged the assaults took place over a six-year period beginning in 1977 when Áine Adams was aged four.

A prosecution lawyer said the amount of detail in the evidence of Áine Adams bore the “hallmark” of truth. “I suggest it is king in this case,” he told the jury.

Credibility
“What possible reason would she have to lie?” he asked. Of Áine Adams’s evidence, he added: “Quite literally, you could not make it up.”

He said the nature of the evidence also established her credibility. The lawyer said that Áine Adam,s when questioned, said she did not suffer physical pain when allegedly sexually assaulted by Liam Adams; rather referring to the feeling of “suffocation” that she endured.

“If she had been making [her evidence] up would she not have grabbed the opportunity presented by the question and said: ‘Pain, I never felt pain like it’.”

The lawyer also addressed the issue of why Áine Adams after first giving evidence to the RUC against her father in early 1987 then retracted it. She repeated the allegations to the PSNI in 2006. The evidence, said the lawyer, was that in 1987 Áine Adams and her mother Sarah Adams for “their own safety” felt it better not to continue with the case because some officers appeared to be more interested in pursuing the fact that she was a niece of the former MP Gerry Adams, who is Liam Adams’s brother.

Behaviour of police
The QC representing Mr Adams said it was an “affront” to suggest the reason Áine Adams withdrew her evidence in 1987 was because of the behaviour of the police and their interest in Gerry Adams. She accused Áine Adams of telling lies over the reason she gave for not proceeding with the complaint against her father at that time.