Northern Ireland news

Men accused of sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl who was walking her dog go on trial

Laganside Court complex in Belfast

Two men have gone on trial in Belfast accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl out walking her dog.

Caoimhin Joseph Corr (24) and 20-year old Thomas McDonnell have both been charged with, and deny, sexually assaulting a child in the Ormeau Road area last January.

Corr, from Norglen Parade in Belfast, has also been charged with damaging the child's mobile phone.

As the case against the two defendants was opened at Belfast Crown Court, the jury was told the alleged incident occurred on the evening of January 24 2022.

Crown prosecutor Kate McKay told the seven men and four women that around 8.20pm that evening, a 12-year old girl was out walking her dog on the Ormeau Road.

Ms McKay said that as the youngster turned into Delhi Street, she noticed four males "hanging about in the vicinity of some cars".

The group then moved towards an alleyway and as the young girl walked passed them, they started to shout comments towards her.

Ms McKay said that after remarks were made about her body, the young girl told them "leave me alone, I'm only 12".

As she quickened her pace, the girl was grabbed from behind by one of the group wearing a grey jacket whom the Crown say was McDonnell.

This male made remarks about the girl's body before he reached towards her, grabbed her chin and kissed her.

McDowell, from Donegall Road in Belfast, is then accused of placing his hand down the back of her trousers.

The jury heard that following this, one of the other males walked behind her and pushed her shoulder then a third - who the Crown say was Corr - stood in front of her and blocked her path.

Ms McKay said Corr then said to the girl "where's my kiss?" then touched her chest area.

She told him to stop, reiterated she was only 12 and tried to get her phone out to call her mum - and at this point Corr attempted to grab the mobile from her hand which fell to the ground and was damaged.

The girl then saw people on the street and after these members of the public shouted at the group of men, they ran off.

After contacting her parents, the girl and her father drove around the area in his car and she was able to point them out.

Police were alerted and Corr and McDonnell were arrested on Ormeau Bridge. During interview, the pair denied the allegations made by the girl.

The Crown opening concluded with Ms McKay telling the jury that when the hoodie worn by the girl underwent forensic testing, Corr's DNA was located in the chest area of the top.


Northern Ireland news