family feud | 

Armagh mum who defended paedophile footballer brother charged with harassing dad

Fashion boss Miceala Gowdy (32) is alleged to have harassed Gary Gowdy between New Year’s Day and February 18 this year

Miceala Gowdy

Gavin Gowdy© (Liam McBurney/RazorPix)

John TonerSunday Life

A fashion boss and mum-of-one who gave evidence in court to support her paedophile brother has been charged with harassing their father.

Miceala Gowdy, who owns a formalwear shop in Lurgan, is alleged to have harassed Gary Gowdy between New Year’s Day and February 18 this year.

During a hearing at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where the 32-year-old did not appear, the matter was adjourned until next month.

The alleged incident covers the period that her older brother Gavin Gowdy (36) was on trial for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. He was later convicted and jailed.

None of the facts in relation to the alleged harassment of her father were heard in court. However, the trial and conviction of her brother created a bitter family feud.

Miceala took to social media to express her anger after her brother was convicted and told how she denied harassing her father.

She said: “I had to close my business over all this. People don’t know the full story.

“I only texted my father, I didn’t do anything. I just messaged him asking him to help me. People are forgetting this is a father and daughter.

“I texted him twice and that’s it. That’s what I’m fighting and I’m pleading not guilty.

“I’m off on the sick at the minute because of my mental health.

“I have a 10-year-old son, I am a human being and this is a family thing which I am seeing a counsellor and a mentor over.

“I’m in and out of the hospital. I nearly took a stroke three weeks ago because of the stress of all this.”

Her brother, a former amateur footballer, was jailed for sexual communication, sexual grooming and sexual assault of the 12-year-old girl.

Gavin Gowdy© (Liam McBurney/RazorPix)

Craigavon Crown Court heard he sent text messages to the child in 2017 asking her if she had ever kissed anyone or had sex, before luring her to his home when he was drunk.

He then “breathed on her neck” and sexually touched her on the leg, before asking her “do you want to?” which Judge Roseanne McCormick QC accepted had been a request for sex.

He was handed a three-year sentence in March, split between 12 months behind bars and the rest on licence, with Judge McCormick praising the victim’s “courage and resolve in taking part in the trial.”

“I hope that the admission he has since made will help her come to terms with what he did when he exploited and abused her,” she said.

The victim and her family told this newspaper they were happy Gowdy had been jailed but had hoped for a longer sentence.

They said: “At least he is behind bars now. This has taken a toll on us.

“It has traumatised our little girl for the rest of her life and is the root of all her mental health issues. This has been a nightmare.”

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices