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Court told Armagh man accused of attempted sexual communication with child to contest charges

No decision yet taken on which court will hear the case

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man accused of attempted sexual communication with a child and encouraging the making of indecent photographs will have to wait to see if his case will be heard in the Crown Court.

The district judge commented: “I am reluctant to adjudicate on this issue if one or more of my colleagues have concerns over the jurisdiction of the case.”

Richard Brooks Porter, of Edenaveys Crescent, appeared charged with attempted sexual communication with a child, encouraging or assisting the making of an indecent photograph of a child and encouraging or assisting the distribution of an indecent photograph of a child.

On Tuesday at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, prosecution stated the directing officer was convinced that the sentencing powers available to this court were adequate.

Court previously heard that the 44-year-old had allegedly been in contact with police who were “acting as young people online”.

Issues over which venue the case should be heard in were raised by District Judge Rosie Watters last month.

Defence solicitor Jarlath Fields stated: “We have no concerns about the case proceeding in the Magistrates’ as it is to be contested in any event.”

District Judge Paul Copeland said: “I am reluctant to adjudicate on this issue if one or more of my colleagues have concerns over the jurisdiction of the case.

“Inquiries will have to be made with my colleagues who made the direction, I can’t step into the middle of this.”

The case was adjourned until May 28 for the attention of the judge who is sitting on that date.

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