Northern Ireland news

Timeline of a 34 year fight for justice

Suzanne Connolly who has waived her right to anonymity. Picture courtesy of Irish Times.

Timeline of a 34 year fight for justice:

July 1985 - Ms Connolly is placed into Palmerston Assessment centre by her adopted parents, whilst there she discloses to staff that John Rossi has been sexually assaulting her for several years.

August 1985 - Ms Connolly provides a statement to police about the abuse. Police interview Rossi, who denies the offences

September 1985 - Police interviewed Rossi who once again denies the allegations.

December 1985 - Ms Connolly is made a ward of court and placed in a children's home

January 1986 - The PPS direct no prosecution

August 1987 - Ms Connolly contacts Rossi by phone, during the call he says he has confessed to his wife and asks is she 'happy now' that she has ruined his life. Social Services visit Rossi to discuss the phone call and he admits he sexually abused Ms Connolly. (There are no records of this being referred to police).

April 2004 - Ms Connolly makes another police complaint. PSNI obtain a statement from the social worker who had heard Rossi confess.

April 2006 - Rossi is interviewed by police and again denies the abuse.

March 2007 - The prosecution service directs a no prosecution.

January 2016 - Ms Connolly once again contacts police through her birth mother and husband to ask for an update on the 2004 investigation

April 2016 - Police submitted a further file containing original information, interview from 2006 and previous case conference notes along with Ms Connolly's 2004 statement and statement from a social worker regarding Rossi's admission

August 2016 - The PPS direct prosecution.

June 2018 - Prosecution proceedings commenced and Rossi, at last minute, admits 18 counts of sexual abuse.

September 2018 - Rossi is sentenced to five years in prison. He will be released after serving two and a half years.

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