Northern Ireland news

Ex-Celtic coach Jim McCafferty remanded in custody for own safety

Jim McCafferty was arrested after walking into a police station. Picture by Alan Lewis, Photopress
Michael McHugh, Press Association

A former Celtic Football Club youth coach and kitman charged with a child sex offence has been remanded in prison for his own safety.

His defence solicitor said he had been instructed not to apply for bail and there was a safety issue. An investigating police officer told Belfast Magistrates' Court that no suitable address was available.

Jim McCafferty (70) was involved in football in Scotland and Ireland from the 1980s and was arrested in Belfast on Tuesday by the PSNI after walking into a police station.

He was charged with engaging in sexual activity with a child in Northern Ireland aged 13-16 between December 2011 and December 2014 and appeared before district judge Liam McNally in Belfast's city centre Laganside Courthouse.

The defendant wore glasses and walked into the dock using a mobility aid. He spoke only to confirm he understood the charges.

A detective constable said she could connect the accused to the charges.

McCafferty, originally from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, but more recently living in Raby Street in South Belfast, was formerly a kitman at Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk.

The defendant was accused of sexually touching a boy aged under 16. He was remanded in custody to reappear via video-link on January 5.

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Northern Ireland news