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Co Armagh man accused of multiple child sex offences to face Crown Court

A Co Armagh man who is accused of sexually assaulting two young girls of whom he was a family friend will face Crown Court proceedings.

The 64-year-old appeared at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Tuesday via videolink from hospital for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

The accused, who cannot be identified to protect his alleged victims, is charged with ten counts of sexual assault on a child under 13, five counts of inciting or causing a child under 13 to engage in a sexual act, two counts of engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child, two counts of sexual activity with a child under 13 and sexual communication with a child.

As the charges were read, it was heard that all are alleged to have been committed on various dates April 1 of 2013 and January of 2020.

Court previously heard, at a contested bail application that the defendant was a “family friend” of the two complainants who he had babysat from when they were around five or six years old.

Appearing in via videolink from hospital, the defendant made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence solicitor Richard Montieth made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Bernie Kelly was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer and the defendant was remanded in custody to appear before Newry Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

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