Belfast Telegraph

Schoolgirl's mother 'confronted Irish musician Francis McPeake'

By Ashleigh McDonald

The mother of a schoolgirl told well-known traditional Irish musician Francis McPeake to stay away from her daughter after she heard rumours that he had kissed the teenager, a jury has heard.

McPeake, now aged 72 and from Eliza Street Close in Belfast, denies 12 counts of sexually abusing the girl in 2009 and 2010.

Belfast Crown Court heard that McPeake would have picked the then 15-year-old up for music lessons and brought her home again. But after hearing rumours, the mother confronted McPeake.

She said she told McPeake: "I need to know what is happening with you and my daughter." She said he made no reply.

She told the court: "I said, 'Please, I need to know have you touched her or have you harmed her'? He said: 'I have never done anything.'

"I asked him: 'Have you kissed my child? You were seen kissing my child in a car, you were seen by somebody I know kissing my child', and the only thing he said to me was that he was looking out for her."

She said that during the confrontation, her daughter arrived at the house, "went nuts" and denied anything going on. The girl was banned from seeing McPeake, although she has told the jury she continued to see him for a while.

The trial continues.

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