Belfast Telegraph

Girl kidnap accused is bailed after charge error

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of child abduction was granted bail yesterday after it emerged the alleged victim was aged 16.

Seamus Harkin (33), from Spencer Road in Derry, allegedly abducted a girl who was staying at hostel accommodation in the city last month.

He was charged under legislation covering the unlawful removal of a child younger than 16.

But at the High Court, defence counsel David Heraghty revealed that the girl turned 16 last year.

He argued his client had been wrongly charged and must be released. Crown lawyer Conor Maguire confirmed the charge was "inappropriate".

Agreeing to bail, Mr Justice Burgess said a charge of abduction without any age restriction could have been applied.

Harkin will appear in court at a later date for a hearing to determine if any case against him should proceed.

Belfast Telegraph

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