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Pervert foster carer preyed on young girl who saw him as a father figure

Belfast High Court

An Armagh foster carer who sexually assaulted a teenager, who saw him as a “father figure”, will be sentenced next month.

Pervert Pat Feighan, 57, abused the young girl as she lay having a fit in bed, paralysed by her anxiety.

The fits, which she had been experiencing for some time, meant she was awake and conscious for what was going on around her, but unable to respond.

Feighan took advantage when she was at her most vulnerable. A man who was trusted to care for troubled children and took them into his home.

The victim, now 20, described how terrified she felt, and how she couldn’t comprehend how the man she saw as her father could commit such a horrific act.

When confronted with his actions he made a desperate plea to cover up the abuse and offered to get himself castrated.

He admitted himself that he was “sick in the head”.

“It was normal after a while. I thought of it as affection,” said Alison, (not her real name), who was speaking to the Irish Sun.

“He would rub my back and he got into bed with one of the other girls in the morning sometimes, but no one was ever suggesting anything strange.”

Alison explained one of the occasions to a reporter.

“The fits mean I can’t respond to what’s going on but I’m still aware of what’s going on around me. It’s like being asleep but awake,” she said.

“On this evening he didn’t just comfort me and wait for it to end, he just stayed and . . . ”

Alison’s mum claimed Feighan then “helped himself” as she lay helpless.

His DNA was discovered in the room.

Feighan was charged with two counts of sexual assault and initially denied both, but has since changed his plea to guilty and is due to be charged next month.

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