Belfast Telegraph

Man in court charged with sexual assault on three-year-old girl

By Alan Erwin

A Co Antrim man appeared in court today charged with carrying out a sexual assault on a three-year-old girl.

The 19-year-old accused, who can't be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have targeted the child in March this year.

Entering the dock at Belfast Magistrates' Court dressed in a suit and tie, he spoke to confirm he understood the charge against him.

A PSNI officer said he could connect the defendant with the alleged offence.

A defence lawyer said he had no questions at this stage in the case.

The mother and grandparents of the little girl he is accused of subjecting to a sexual assault were present in court for the hearing.

Sitting in the front row of the public gallery, they stared at the accused as the charge was put to him.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall decided to put the case back for another eight weeks.

The defendant, who is from the Newtownabbey area, was released on continuing bail to return to court on January 22.

As part of his release conditions he is banned from entering the Rathcoole estate.

He must also have no contact with the alleged victim or prosecution witnesses.

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