Northern Ireland news

Mother (33) to stand trial for allegedly subjecting children to campaign of cruelty

A mother is to stand trial for allegedly subjecting her children to a campaign of cruelty.

The 33-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court accused of offences against three girls and a boy.

At least two of the alleged victims are her own children.

She faces four counts of cruelty to a person under the age of 16 on dates between December 2013 and October 2017.

According to the charges the woman wilfully assaulted, ill-treated and neglected them in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

No further details were disclosed during a preliminary enquiry hearing where the accused confirmed that she understood the alleged offences.

She declined to call witnesses or give any evidence at this stage in proceedings.

A defence solicitor did not contest prosecution submissions that his client has a case to answer.

On that basis District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted an application to have the woman returned for Crown Court trial.

She was released on continuing bail until her expected arraignment on a date to be fixed.

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Northern Ireland news