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Stepdaughter assault charge dropped against ex-NI football star

By Nevin Farrell

The manager of the Northern Ireland Under-21 football team has had a charge of assaulting his 14-year-old step-daughter withdrawn.

Jim Magilton (47), from Aberfoyle Gardens in the Upper Malone Road area of Belfast, appeared at Antrim Magistrates' Court yesterday, where he was ordered to keep the peace for a year by District Judge Peter King on a £500 bond.

Defence solicitor Feargal MacElhatton said that prior to the withdrawn allegation, his client's record was clear.

The charge Magilton faced arose from a claim that the former Northern Ireland international assaulted his step-daughter on January 7 this year. At a previous hearing a defence solicitor asked for the case to be adjourned for him to take instructions from his client.

A prosecutor previously said he had discussed "a way forward" in the case and believed the defendant was going to take instructions in that regard.

Judge Oonagh Mullan replied at that time that if there were to be an alternative disposal, Magilton, who was not at that hearing, would need to be present.

The defendant was at the same court in January, and replied "yes" when asked if he understood the charge.

A defence solicitor told that hearing the accused was denying the allegation.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the defendant to the charge and told the hearing the allegation was that Magilton had slapped the girl a number of times and dragged her downstairs by the arms.

In January a solicitor said the allegations were being contested in full.

After that hearing Magilton was released on £500 bail, but barred from contacting his step-daughter and ordered to live at an address in Belfast.

He was also banned from entering Tullywest Road in the Crumlin area.

Magilton is a former manager of Ipswich Town, Queens Park Rangers and Melbourne Victory.

The former Northern Ireland international also played for Oxford United, Southampton and Ipswich Town.

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