A man accused of grooming and sexually assaulting a girl appeared in court yesterday.
Appearing by videolink at Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim, Joseph McKillop confirmed that he was aware of the five charges against him and had no objections to a Preliminary Enquiry.
The 55-year-old, from Kiln Grove in Larne, faces two counts of sexually assaulting the female child, communicating sexually with the girl and meeting a child following sexual grooming, all allegedly committed between November 15 and 18, 2019.
A prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against McKillop - a submission accepted by defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine.
The court clerk told McKillop that although not obliged to, he had the right to comment on the charges or to call evidence to the preliminary enquiry on his behalf, but the defendant declined to do so.
Returning the case to Antrim Crown Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick freed McKillop on £500 bail and ordered him to appear at the higher court for arraignment on February 25.