Northern Ireland news

Former Celtic kit man Jim McCafferty to face trial

Former Celtic kit manager Jim McCafferty

A trial date has been set for former Celtic kit man kit man Jim McCafferty after he pleaded "not guilty" to a catalogue of sex offences involving one young boy over a two year period up to December 2013.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland ordered that the case, estimated to last one to two weeks, be held on May 21 next, a year after he was first returned for trial.

Earlier the 71-year-old was formally arraigned before the city's Crown Court on the eight charges of sexual assault in which the kit man is accused of "intentionally touching" a boy, under 16, and that the "touching was sexual".

Defence counsel Patrick Taylor told the court that further reports on McCafferty, formerly of Raby Street in south Belfast, were being obtained.

McCafferty was initially returned for trial from Belfast Magistrates' Court in May last year, following his arrest in December 2016 after giving an interview to a national newspaper and then walking into a Belfast police station.

No details surrounding McCafferty's alleged offences were given during the short formal hearing before he was remanded back into custody to await his trial.

McCaffrey who previously lived in the Glasgow area, worked at Celtic Football Club more than 20 years ago. He was also a kit man for other Scottish clubs, including Falkirk and Hibs, before moving back to Northern Ireland around seven years ago.

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