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Man facing sexual assault and child allegations claims he was intimidated out of Lurgan

The man - who is accused of sexually assaulting and grooming a child under the age of 13 - has been granted bail subject to an address approved by police

Craigavon Magistrates Court

Lurgan man who is accused of sexually assaulting and grooming a child under the age of 13 has been granted bail subject to an address approved by police after claiming he was intimidated out of the town.

The 36-year-old appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday via videolink from police custody in relation to breaching his bail.

Gavin Gowdy, of Dingwell Park, is charged with sexual communication with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming and sexual assault of a child under 13.

Last week, the defendant had his case elevated to the Crown Court through a preliminary enquiry (PE).

Defence barrister Conor Lunny informed the court that the breach was accepted and related to Gowdy not residing at his bail address.

A detective constable stated that the defendant had been residing in Belfast since September 8.

Mr Lunny said that his client had been intimidated out of two addresses in the Lurgan area by “various characters” before going to Belfast.

Upon questioning by District Judge Bernie Kelly, Gowdy confirmed that he had not contacted police regarding this intimidation.

The district judge commented: “You (Mr Lunny) and I only have Mr Gowdy’s word for it.”

Gowdy claimed that he had not been at the address at the time of the attempted intimidation and that he had only been made aware of the threat after a phone call from police.

The detective constable stated this contact was made on October 9, at which point the defendant had already been in Belfast.

Mr Lunny provided an address which was not uttered in court to the district judge, but the detective constable stated police believed that due to the defendant’s vulnerability it was “not far enough away”.

The barrister then asked for bail to be approved subject to an address which was approved by police.

This was considered by District Judge Kelly, who did have concerns regarding this being perfected.

Gowdy was granted bail on the same terms subject to an address approved by police.

Conditions of this bail included a ban on any device which has access to the internet and no contact with the alleged injured party or her family.

The case was adjourned until October 14 for the defendant’s arraignment at the Crown Court.

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