June 2013

No jail for the perv uncle who abused nieces

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AN uncle who admitted sexually abusing his two teenage nieces has escaped jail.

Shamed 29-year-old Matthew McInerney had pleaded guilty to a raft of vile offences against the two teens.

Originally from Newtownards, disgraced McInerney now lives in Scotland and has an address at Balgay View in Dundee.

His two victims — now 18 and her 22-year-old sister — bravely waived their right to anonymity in April so their abuser could be named.

McInerney admitted indecent assault on a female, inciting child prostitution/porn, sexual activity with a child family member and inciting a child family member to engage in a sex act.

During an earlier court appearance, it was heard that McInerney had shown romantic and sexual interest in both his nieces when they were under 18.

The court heard that he had kissed Adele while she was sitting on his bed and had on another occasion sent his niece a picture of an aroused male which she ignored.

McInerney had then pestered the girl to send him naked pictures of herself, but she ignored that too.

On another occasion, McInerney attempted to kiss one girl while drunk.

When the sisters became aware they were both being targeted by their uncle they told him they were going to unmask him to which he replied: “Please don’t tell, I am engaged. I have much to lose, my job, everything.”

McInerney’s defence team said that because there was a smaller than average age difference between him and his nieces, he had always regarded them “as young adults and not kids”.

He appeared at Newry Crown Court on Tuesday where Judge Stephen Fowler QC handed him three years probation. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.

May 2013

Dundee man admits abusing nieces

A Dundee man has admitted sexually abusing his two teenage nieces in Northern Ireland.

The two women, now aged 18 and her sister, 22, have decided to waive their rights to anonymity and have told how the sexual predator lured them into sex acts while they were under 18.

Matthew McInerney, 29, of Balgay Road, admitted four charges of indecency towards them when they were teenagers.

At last week’s Downpatrick Crown Court hearing McInerney, originally from the Ards area, admitted indecent assault, intentionally inciting a girl under 18 to be involved in pornography, sexual touching of a female relative under 18 and intentionally inciting a female relative under 18 to engage in sexual touching.

The abuse took place in a relative’s home on several dates up to 2010.

McInerney had been due to face a total of seven charges, including two charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl who did not consent, but the family say they agreed a plea bargain with his lawyers in order to avoid the trauma of a trial.

Charges of gross indecency towards a child and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse were not proceeded with and left on the court records.

Naomi says the two Ballygowan sisters decided to speak out to let people know the sexual offender was in Dundee.

She said: “I feel no matter what happens to him, justice will never be done. It will live with us forever, it’s not going to go away.

“Whenever I think about him I want to be sick. It’s not something I’m really able to deal with and I don’t think I ever will, it’s too traumatic and I just want to get on with my life now.”

Adele said she was relieved her uncle had pleaded guilty. She said the abuse started several years ago with inappropriate touching while in her grandmother’s house.

This developed into being sent pornography via text message and receiving indecent requests.

“I did not know what to do,” said Adele.

She said she and her sister became aware they were both being targeted when they were sitting in front of the computer and he got in touch with her sister via an instant message.

They then decided to tell their mum, who has supported her children in their case against her brother.

Adele said she has suffered from post-traumatic stress and received counselling following her ordeal, but hoped coming forward would make other vulnerable people aware of his crimes.

The girls’ mother Kerry (40), McInerney’s sister, contacted The Courier to express her disgust at how he has acted and told how the whole case has caused a split in their family.

“He worked in Dundee and also had jobs in Newtownards, in Ards Leisure Centre and was also a youth leader in North Belfast,” Kerry said.

“The sad thing is that even after he has admitted those charges, the rest of my family are still saying my daughters are liars. I’ve just disassociated myself from them, I’m disgusted at the fact they still allow him around their children.

“I want to make other people in Dundee aware of who is living around them.

“His team came to us with his plea and, after a lot of soul searching and tears, we decided the plea was best as he will be placed on the sex offenders register and have a criminal record.”

McInerney was released on bail and will be sentenced on May 23 in Downpatrick.