Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man to stand trial for grooming of schoolgirl

David Loughlin appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday
David Loughlin appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday

By Alan Erwin

A man is to stand trial accused of meeting a schoolgirl following sexual grooming, a judge has ordered.

David Loughlin appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court on charges related to alleged offences three years ago.

The 27-year-old, of Mervue Street in the city, faces two counts of sexual communication with a child.

He is further charged with meeting the girl, aged under 16, with the intention of committing a relevant offence.

The charges relate to dates in May and June 2016.

During a preliminary enquiry Loughin confirmed that he understood the allegations against him. No further details were disclosed.

He declined to call witnesses or give evidence at this stage in proceedings.

A defence lawyer did not dispute prosecution contentions that his client has a case to answer.

Based on those submissions, District Judge Paul Copeland granted an application to have Loughlin returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Releasing the accused on £500 bail, Mr Copeland told him to appear again on a date to be fixed.

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