Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist Mark Harbinson to face trial accused of breaching his sexual offences order

Paul Higgins

Loyalist and convicted sex predator Mark Harbinson is to go on trial accused of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

He is charged with breaching the terms of a court-imposed SOPO by associating with the Pride of the Village Flute Band in Stoneyford without the approval of his designated risk manager.

While evidence heard at Lisburn Magistrates Court yesterday cannot be reported, a previous court heard allegations that police found he had not only associated with the flute band, but had used a computer to organise a parade in Stoneyford on June 18.

It was also alleged that despite being barred from going beyond the 30mph sign in Stoneyford while any parade is ongoing, officers at the parade spotted him watching on from past the sign.

A judge told 46-year-old Harbinson he was satisfied there was a prima facie case against him. He released Harbinson on continuing bail until his arraignment in the new year.

An earlier court was told that Harbinson was only released from prison in May, but has been actively engaged with the flute band, despite being banned from associating with it under the terms of the SOPO order.

A police officer alleged that Harbinson, from Sheepwalk Road in Lisburn, had used a telephone and computer to correspond with the Parades Commission in relation to the band parade.

The SOPO was put in place in February 2011 after the prominent Orangeman was jailed for three-and-a-half years for the sexual assault of a teenage girl he met through his involvement with the flute band.

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