Belfast Telegraph

Mother 'confronted abuse accused musician Francis McPeake'

By Ashleigh McDonald

The mother of a girl who claimed she was abused by musician Francis McPeake has told a jury about confronting the pensioner over the nature of his relationship with her daughter.

Belfast Crown Court heard that prior to a confrontation which took place between the schoolgirl's family and McPeake, he had been teaching her music and helping her to build her own guitar.

The girl, who is now aged 20, claims she and McPeake embarked on a relationship during a trip to the Republic in the summer of 2009. McPeake, who is now 72 and from Eliza Street Close in Belfast, is currently standing trial on 12 sexual offences. The pensioner – who is part of the world-famous McPeake musical family – denies all the charges against him.

The court heard that after hearing rumours about her daughter and McPeake, who at the time was aged 67-68, the woman asked the pensioner to call to her home.

This incident occurred in February 2010, during which the woman said she asked McPeake why a man of his age was "spending so much time with my child". Saying she wanted to know what was going in, the mother said she "didn't really get any answers". She said: "He just kept telling me what a fantastic child she was, she was a credit to me and she was an amazing wee girl."

The woman said she told McPeake her daughter would no longer be attending music lessons and warned him "don't you ever, ever, ever contact her again".

At hearing.

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