Northern Ireland news

80-year-old man admits sexually abusing 8-year-old girl five years ago

An 80-year-old man is to be sentenced for sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl five years ago

AN 80-year-old man has pleaded guilty at Derry Crown Court to sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl five years ago.

On the morning of his scheduled trial the defendant - who cannot be named to protect the identity of the young girl - asked through his solicitor to be rearraigned on two charges that he sexually assaulted the child by touching between September 2013 and February 2014.

Members of the girl's family as well as relatives of the defendant were in court to hear his guilty pleas to both charges.

A pre-sentence report was ordered ahead of sentencing on February 11.

The defendant, who was released on continuing bail, was told by Judge Philip Babington that he was now subject to the requirements of sexual offences legislation.

"These pleas are very valuable because it means a young girl will not have to be cross-examined. That would be upsetting for anybody," he added.

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