Belfast Telegraph

No bail for man facing Down schoolgirl rape charge

By Alan Erwin

A man charged with raping a Co Down schoolgirl must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Weir refused the 46-year-old's bail application after being told how the case had "fractured" the alleged victim's family.

He also said Social Services should carry out an investigation into circumstances in the 14-year-old girl's home. The accused, a foreign national, is not being named to protect her identity. He faces charges of rape, sexual assault and sexual activity with a child.

All of the alleged offences were committed between May 2013 and November last year. In court yesterday it emerged that the girl has written a note to say she wants to drop her complaint.

A prosecution lawyer said the only reason given was because of the toll on her family.

Denying bail, Mr Justice Weir held that the risk of breaching any conditions was too great. He added: "Social Services should be told to investigate the situation in this house."

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