Northern Ireland news

Women accused of sex abuse of five children

Laganside Court in Belfast

A woman accused of a catalogue of sex offences wept in court as she denied abusing five children.

While the 30-year-old, who cannot be named due to a judge-imposed reporting restriction, denied all 25 of the offences against her at Newry Crown Court, her 43-year-old male co-accused pleaded guilty to all but two of the 47 offences he faced.

Throughout her five minute arraignment, the woman wept continually, sometimes barely able to utter the words “not guilty” as the offences were put to her.

She stands charged with three counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, 10 counts of voyeurism in that she allegedly recorded four females “doing a private act with the intention that she or a third person, for the purpose of sexual gratification, would look at the image.”

She also faces 10 counts of taking, or permitting to be taken, indecent images of children, and single counts of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and committing an act of gross indecency with or towards a child with all of the offences alleged to have been committed on unknown dates between December 31, 2006 and April 19, 2015.

A 48-year-old man pleaded guilty to all but two charges against him.

In total, he admitted 32 charges of “taking, or permitting to be taken” indecent images of a child, six of possessing indecent images of children, two of having images of children which were prohibited, three of having extreme pornography and two counts of voyeurism.

Two offences alleging that he attempted to distribute indecent images of children were not put and prosecuting counsel Geraldine McCullough told the court she would “take instructions” from the PPS in relation to those.

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