Belfast Telegraph

Ex-priest denies abusing child (10) in 1980s

By Ashleigh McDonald

A former priest of St Matthew's Catholic Church in the Short Strand area of Belfast has denied sexually abusing a young female parishioner in the 1980s.

Peter Donnelly, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court yesterday accused of sexually assaulting the girl in the parochial house of the church over a period spanning from July 1982 to August 1987.

The 71-year-old has been charged with six counts of indecently assaulting the girl, and a further charge of gross indecency with a child. The pensioner denies all seven charges against him.

Opening the case against Donnelly, Crown prosecutor Kate McKay told a jury that the alleged abuse was carried out when the victim was aged around 10, up until her early teens.

The court heard a complaint was made to the police in September 2010, and when arrested Donnelly "totally denied" sexual abuse.

The case continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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