| 6.3°C Belfast

Belfast man to stand trial accused of catalogue of sexual abuse against schoolgirl

A Belfast man is to stand trial accused of a four-year catalogue of sexual abuse against a schoolgirl, a judge ruled today.

The 59-year-old faces a total of 21 charges, including multiple counts of rape and attempted rape of a child.

He cannot be named to ensure the identity of his alleged victim is protected.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court to establish if he has a case to answer, the man nodded to confirm he understood the charges.

They also include sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, indecent assault, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The alleged offences, all against the same girl, were committed between February 2009 and September 2013.

The accused declined to say anything in response to the charges or call witnesses at this stage in the case.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall backed prosecution submissions that he has a case to answer.

Granting an application to have the accused returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court at a later date, she remanded him back into custody until that hearing gets underway.

Belfast Telegraph