Belfast Telegraph

Francis McPeake sex trial jury is dismissed

By Ashleigh McDonald

A jury in the trial of well-known traditional Irish musician Francis McPeake has been dismissed after a legal issue arose.

The 10 women and two men on the Belfast Crown Court jury began deliberating on Tuesday afternoon following a week-long trial.

McPeake (72), formerly of Eliza Street Close in the Markets area of Belfast, denied 13 sexual abuse charges.

The allegations were made by a young Belfast woman who claimed she was involved in a sexual relationship with the musician from June 2009 to May 2010, when she was a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

McPeake denied the allegations and accused the complainant of lying and trying to destroy his life.

After more than six hours of deliberations on Tuesday and yesterday, a legal matter arose.

Judge David McFarland then informed the jury and thanked them for their time.

The judge told them they were free to go.

The case is due to be mentioned again later this month.

Belfast Telegraph

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