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Belfast man on child sex assault charge was sleepwalking, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 11/05/2016

A Belfast man accused of sexually assaulting two children is to claim he was sleepwalking, a court heard today.

The 44-year-old defendant plans to argue that his status rendered him oblivious to any alleged offences.

Details emerged as he appeared before the city's Magistrates Court to set a date for preliminary enquiry proceedings.

The man is not being named to ensure both alleged victims' identities are protected. He faces two charges of sexual assault on two sisters under the age of 13.

He is accused of committing the offences at a location in Belfast on January 2 this year.

As he entered the dock it was confirmed that he plans to rely on a claim of sleepwalking as part of his defence.

Counsel for the man told the court: "He would say he was completely unaware of the offence allegedly inflicted."

The judge responded by describing the case as both "grave and unusual".

He adjourned proceedings until June 22, with the accused released on continuing bail until then

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