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East Belfast man to stand trial for 'catalogue of sex abuse' over 30 years

A man is to stand trial accused of subjecting a girl to a catalogue of sexual abuse stretching back more than 30 years, a judge ruled today.

William Cuthbert faces eight charges of indecent assault on a female and a further count of gross indecency with a child.

The alleged offences were committed in Belfast between 1981 and 1985.

Appearing before the city's Magistrates' Court for a preliminary enquiry hearing, Cuthbert spoke to confirm he understood the charges.

The 57-year-old, of Mersey Street, Belfast, declined to call witnesses or give evidence at this stage in the case.

His barrister, Michael Boyd, did not oppose prosecution submissions that he has a case to answer.

During the brief hearing Mr Boyd revealed that the statement of complaint included "countless allegations".

District Judge Peter King held that a prima facie case has been established against the accused.

He granted an application to have Cuthbert returned for Crown Court trial and released him on continuing bail until those proceedings get underway.

Belfast Telegraph