Belfast Telegraph

Man is charged with a campaign of sexual abuse against stepdaughter

By Staff Reporter

A man accused of a four-year campaign of sexual abuse, culminating in the rape and assault of his young stepdaughter, has been granted bail pending trial.

The accused, who is in his 40s and from Co Tyrone, cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.

He first appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court in November 2017, charged with four counts of rape and single counts each of assault, sexual touching and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

It is alleged the offending began in April 2013 and continued until the accused's arrest, which occurred after the child made a number of disclosures, and the PSNI's Public Protection Unit took action.

The sexual touching and incitement of sexual activity are alleged to have been committed on dates unknown throughout the four-year period, as is one of the counts of rape.

Rape is further alleged to have occurred on September 1, 2016 and again on March 23, 2017.

The final charge of rape, along with assault, allegedly took place on November 25, 2017.

It is understood the child was aged around nine when the alleged offending began.

The accused has been remanded in custody since arrest and while there had been an early indication of a bail application, no suitable address was found at that time.

However, at the most recent court sitting a prosecution lawyer confirmed bail was now agreed, with a number of stringent conditions.

The accused is to reside at a specified address and have no contact with any witnesses in the case.

He is to surrender his identity card, report three times per week to police and abide by a curfew from 10pm to 6am.

In addition, he is not to apply for a passport and must have no unauthorised contact with any child aged under 18.

Finally, a cash surety of £1,000 is to be lodged with the court.

District Judge John Meehan ordered the accused to appear for a committal hearing later this month, at which time he is expected to be returned for trial.

Belfast Telegraph

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