Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man to go on trial accused of inciting ten different schoolboys into sexual activity

By Alan Erwin

A Belfast man is to stand trial on charges of inciting ten different schoolboys into sexual activity, a judge ruled today.

The 20-year-old is alleged to have targeted other youths while he was still a teenager himself.

He faces a total of 25 counts of incitement spanning a nine-month period during 2011 and 2012.

Further charges of making and distributing indecent photographs of children and having extreme pornographic images have also been brought against him.

The accused was granted anonymity as he appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court for a preliminary enquiry hearing.

His lawyers cited human rights arguments centred on fears his life could be in danger if he is identified.

District Judge Neil Rafferty backed a prosecution application that the accused has a prima facie case to answer.

No defence witnesses were called or evidence given at this stage in proceedings.

Mr Rafferty returned him for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

Granting an application to certify for two barristers to represent the accused, he confirmed that anonymity will remain in place until further order.

The accused is set to be released on his own bail of £500.

His father was also freed after being temporarily taken into custody when his mobile phone went off during the hearing.

On receiving an apology Mr Rafferty allowed him to go with the words: "I would have thought if you're attending in support of your son that would extend to not wanting to end up in the cells with him."

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