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Antrim Council's environmental services boss set for trial on 39 child porn charges

By Paul Higgins

Published 21/07/2015

Head of Antrim Borough Council's environmental services John Trevor Stewart
Head of Antrim Borough Council's environmental services John Trevor Stewart

The head of Antrim Borough Council's environmental services has been ordered to stand trial accused of more than 30 offences relating to indecent images of children.

Standing beside the dock in Antrim Magistrates Court, 61-year-old John Trevor Stewart was charged with 36 counts of having and possessing indecent images of children on various dates between September 25, 2007 and August 29, 2013.

Stewart, from Grannystown Road in Portlgenone, is also facing three further charges of possessing prohibited images of children. Although no facts surrounding the allegations were opened in court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against Stewart based on the legal papers and statements, a stance with which his defence lawyer took no issue.

Although Stewart was told that he had the right to comment on the charges, give evidence to the court or to call witnesses on his behalf, but with a warning that they faced cross-examination, he declined.

Returning the case to Antrim Crown Court for trial, District Judge Alan White released Stewart on continuing bail and ordered him to appear before the higher court on October 9.

Stewart was released on his own bail of £300 and is barred from entering the offices of Antrim Borough Council, from initiating contact with any council employee without knowledge of the public protection unit, and "must not possess, use, have access to, or direct any third party to do so, any forms of electronic device which can access the internet."

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