Northern Ireland news

Newcastle man Gary Talbot (59) pleads guilty to child sex offences

Gary Talbot, from Newcastle, today pleaded guilty to 15 of the 16 charges put to him. His wife, Heather Talbot, pleaded not guilty to 12 offences

A 59-year-old man has pleaded guilty to 15 offences, including the rape and sexual abuse of a young girl.

Gary Talbot, from Newcastle Co Down who gave his address as HMP Maghaberry, dressed in a grey shirt and striped tie, admitted two counts each of rape, gross indecency with a child and indecent assault along with six offences of "taking or permitting to be taken" indecent photos of a child.

The offences were committed between January 1 2001 and October 6 2003 when the victim was aged between two and five years old.

He also admitted three counts of distributing indecent images of a child in May 2011 but denied one count of sexually assaulting the same victim between July 21 2012 and July 21 2014.

His wife Heather Talbot (58), standing alongside him in the dock of Downpatrick Crown Court with a prison officer separating them, denied all of the 12 offences she faces.

Mrs Talbot, wearing a black jacket and light blue cardigan, denied aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring her husband in the rapes and further offences of indecent assault, gross indecency and six offences relating to "taking or permitting to be taken" indecent photos of a child.

Following the arraignment, prosecuting counsel Laura Ievers told Judge Piers Grant she estimated the trial would last two weeks.

Remanding the couple back into custody and ordering Talbot to now sign the police sex offenders register, Judge Piers Grant said he would review the case on 28 February.

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