Belfast Telegraph

Belfast schoolgirl left 'introverted and cautious' after alleged Royal Avenue abduction bid, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A 12-year-old girl suffered psychologically from an alleged bid to abduct her in Belfast city centre, the High Cout has heard.

Prosecutors claimed she has been left introverted and wary since a man attacked and chased after her.

Details emerged as bail was granted to a 27-year-old man accused of trying to snatch the schoolgirl on Royal Avenue in daylight.

George Kincaid, of Silversteam Avenue in Belfast, was banned from entering the city centre as part of his release conditions.

He faces a charge of attempted child abduction and further counts of disorderly behaviour, resisting police and common assault over drunken incidents in August last year.

It was claimed that he punched a security guard at the Castlecourt shopping centre after being seen staggering through traffic.

Later, according to Crown lawyer Conor Maguire, police spotted Kincaid grabbing and pursuing the girl before passers-by stopped him.

"The male approached her from behind, lifted her off the ground with his arms wrapped around her," Mr Maguire told the court.

"She said he said something but it was incoherent, she managed to struggle free and ran towards Tesco but the male ran after her, grabbing her arm before members of the public intervened."

The girl's mother also witnessed the incident, telling police her daughter was shouting "let me go" as the man took hold of her.

Kincaid was arrested and allegedly replied after caution: "She's my daughter, I was trying to stop her running into the road and getting run over. You would do the same thing yourself."

Interviews in custody had to be delayed due to his level of intoxication.

He later explained that he had been drinking heavily at a party, could only assume he mistakenly thought he knew the girl and had then went after her to apologise, Mr Justice Burgess was told.

Opposing bail, Mr Maguire claimed: "This was a stranger attack on a young girl during the day in Belfast."

He added: "The 12-year-old injured party has had a psychological impact as a result of what happened to her.

"Police say she is more cautious in public and more introverted."

Defence counsel Dennis Boyd argued that it had been a drunken incident carried out on front of watching police.

"There's no evidence to suggest it was sexually motivated or (caused) any serious harm," he added.

Mr Justice Burgess responded by describing the girl's experience as "nasty and scary".

"I'm not surprised by what I'm told, I think it probably understated what the impact on this child would have been."

However, he stressed that bail is normally granted unless any risk cannot be managed by conditions.

Ruling that Kincaid can be released from custody, the judge imposed an alcohol ban, curfew and electronic monitoring.

He also ordered: "To keep him well away from the general public, draw a map of the city centre and he's to be excluded from that save for attending court or his solicitor's offices."

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