Northern Ireland news

Man (57) to stand trial for allegedly subjecting boy in Belfast to campaign of sexual abuse 40 years ago

The 57-year-old defendant appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court via videolink

A MAN is to be brought from England to stand trial for allegedly subjecting a boy in Belfast to a campaign of sexual abuse nearly 40 years ago, a judge has ordered.

The 57-year-old defendant appeared at the city's Magistrates Court for a preliminary enquiry into the charges. He is not being named to ensure the alleged victim's identity is protected.

The accused, who now lives in the Devonshire area, faces four counts of indecent assault on a male child.

The charges cover a period between January 1983 and December 1988.

Appearing remotely via videolink, the man confirmed that he understood the allegations against him but declined to give evidence or call any witnesses

at this stage.

Prosecution submissions that he has a case to answer were not disputed.

District Judge Mark McGarrity granted an application to have him returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be set.

Releasing the defendant on continuing bail, Mr McGarrity directed: "There will be a prohibition on contact with any civilian prosecution witnesses"

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Northern Ireland news