Belfast Telegraph

Ex-primary school head on sex attack charge gets bail

By Staff Reporter

An ex-principal of a former Catholic primary school has appeared in court charged with sexual assault.

Richard Duffin turned up for the hearing at Ballymena Magistrates' Court using a walking aid.

The 77-year-old, from the Gortnageeragh Road area of Cargan, 10 miles from Ballymena, is accused of indecently assaulting three males on dates unknown between June 30, 1975, and July 1, 1980.

Duffin was the first headmaster of the now closed St Joseph's Primary School on Ballymena's Doury Road. He retired in 1992.

The defendant faces a total of 12 charges, including two of wilfully assaulting one of the males, who was under 16 at the time, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health between October 31, 1980, and June 1, 1981.

He faces a further two charges of assaulting the same male during the same period.

No details of where the alleged offences occurred were outlined.

During the preliminary inquiry, District Judge Des Perry said the charges could be described as "historical sexual offences".

A prosecutor submitted that on the evidence there was a case to answer, and there were no contrary submissions from defence barrister Neil Moore.

Duffin was released on his own bail of £500 to appear at Antrim Crown Court for arraignment on October 27.

Belfast Telegraph

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