Belfast Telegraph

Pensioner stands trial over rape and indecent assault

By Alan Erwin

A 79-year-old man is to stand trial accused of a catalogue of sexual assaults on his daughter, a judge has ordered.

The pensioner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with two counts of rape and 18 indecent assaults.

All of the alleged offences were committed on dates between 1982 and 1986.

The accused entered the dock using a walking stick for the preliminary enquiry hearing.

Another daughter was allowed to accompany him due to his state of frailty.

After all 20 counts were put to him he confirmed that he understood the charges.

No further details about the alleged offences were disclosed.

Defence solicitor Fergal MacElhatton did not contest prosecution submissions that his client has a case to answer.

During the hearing the accused declined to give evidence or call witnesses.

Granting a prosecution application, the District Judge returned the accused for trial at Belfast Crown Court.

He was released on continuing bail to appear again for arraignment on a date to be fixed.

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