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Northern Ireland yoga instructor facing 39 sex charges pleads not guilty

Published 12/10/2016

A well-known Northern Ireland yoga instructor has pleaded not guilty at Antrim Crown Court to 39 sex charges.

Desmond Robinson (73), of Kintullagh Court, is accused of 25 charges of indecent assault on a female and 14 of gross indecency with or towards a child.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1979 and 1990 and relate to two females.

Wearing a suit and standing in the dock with his hands clasped, Robinson confirmed his name, age and address and leaned forward each time he replied "not guilty" to the charges.

Defence lawyer Alan Kane told Judge Gordon Kerr QC the trial is likely to last up to two weeks and the it has been set for January.

The accused was released on continuing bail.

An internet search shows Robinson was organising ten week courses of Svatantra Yoga in the spring of 2015 at a cost of £46.90 per head.

The listing said each class included meditation, yoga breathing practice, classical postures, Bandhas and Yoga Nidra and 'all work is skilfully adapted and modified for individual needs'.

The listing continued: 'Also included: information on the benefits of Yoga for managing and even preventing common ailments which are often due to stress and poor lifestyle. Also information on healthy eating and diet specific to Yoga. Yoga explained as being complementary/supplementary to other non-yogic forms of fitness and sport and will be explained in detail.

"The aim of the course is: Balance and Harmony of Body, Mind and Spirit, Peace, Health and Harmony - Svatantra Yogi Om Tat Sa".

The listing said the area covered included Ballymena's Seven Towers Leisure Centre.

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