Belfast Telegraph

Seven deny intimidating musician Francis McPeake from his Belfast home

By Ashleigh McDonald

Seven people from south Belfast have appeared in court on charges linked to claims they forced traditional Irish musician Francis McPeake from his home.

Mr McPeake was allegedly intimidated from his Eliza Street Close home in the Markets area in September 2013 when a large crowd gathered.

At the time, the pensioner was facing charges of sexually abusing a schoolgirl. He was subsequently unanimously acquitted by a jury of all the charges after standing trial.

A total of 10 people from the Markets areas have been charged with a range of offences linked to the alleged incident - seven of whom appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court yesterday.

They were Sarah Bruce (44), Paul Quinn (49) and Danielle Whyte (29), who are all from Stewart Street; Julie Anne Murdock (26), Joseph Patrick Murdock (53) and 18-year old Ciaran Murdock who are all from Eliza Street Close; and 37-year old Tracey Conlon from Friendly Street.

All seven defendants were charged with intimidating Mr McPeake to leave his home by force, threats or menaces between September 13 and 16, 2013. All seven deny the charge.

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