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Former Celtic kitman to be arraigned in four weeks' time

Former Celtic kit manager Jim McCafferty. Picture by Alan Lewis

FORMER Celtic kit man Jim McCafferty is to be arraigned next month on child sex charges.

McCafferty (71), formerly of Raby Street in south Belfast, was not present at Belfast Crown Court for yesterday's brief hearing.

The case had been adjourned on a number of previous occasions following defence submissions that he may not be fit to plead to the charges.

A prosecution lawyer told the court yesterday that a doctor retained by the Crown indicated that McCafferty is "fit to plead''.

Defence barrister Patrick Taylor said that he was awaiting a neuro-psychological report on McCafferty which would not be ready for another three weeks.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland ordered McCafferty to be arraigned in four weeks' time, on February 23, saying he was conscious of the delay in the case and how this was affecting the complainant.

However, the judge said that if the defence returned to court next month to say McCafferty "is not fit to plead'' based on medical reports, he would fix a date for a further hearing to listen to prosecution and defence arguments in the case.

McCafferty was returned for trial from Belfast Magistrates' Court in May last year on eight charges of intentionally touching a boy under the age of 16.

The offences were alleged to have been committed in Belfast on dates between 2012 and 2015.

The accused was arrested in December 2016 after giving an interview to a national newspaper and then walking into a Belfast police station.

McCafferty, 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 Hibernian FC, before moving to Northern Ireland eight years ago.

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