Belfast Telegraph

Strabane teen Hegarty changes plea on day rape case due to begin

By Staff Reporter

A teenager who was to go on trial at Dungannon Crown Court for rape has changed his plea on the day the case was to begin.

Gavin Hegarty (19) from Koram Square, Strabane, previously denied raping and sexually assaulting a female on July 25, 2015. However defence counsel asked for his client to be re-arraigned on the sexual assault charge yesterday.

Speaking in a barely audible voice, Hegarty pleaded guilty.

The rape charge was left on the court books and not proceeded with by direction of Judge Stephen Fowler QC.

He then discharged the jury and ruled pre-sentence reports and a Victim Impact Statement are to be obtained.

Defence counsel said: "It is anticipated a large amount of references will be supplied to the court."

Judge Fowler ordered Hegarty to sign the Sex Offender Register before leaving court and remanded him on continuing bail of £500 to return for sentencing on October 27.

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