Belfast Telegraph

Music teacher accused of sexually abusing five girls

By George Jackson

A music teacher has appeared in court charged with the sexual abuse of five girls, all of them under the age of 13.

Brian Bergin, from Brookhill in the Culmore Road area of Londonderry, appeared at a preliminary enquiry hearing at Derry Magistrates Court yesterday.

He faces a total of 10 charges involving five complainants. The defendant is charged with indecently touching them in a sexual manner while in a position of trust.

The offences are alleged to have been committed on various dates between August 2011 and May 2014.

When asked by a court clerk if he had anything to say in answer to the 10 charges, the defendant replied "not at this stage".

A submission by a solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service that, based on the papers, the defendant had a prima facie case to answer, was accepted by the defendant's solicitor. The defence solicitor said that his client, a father-of-three, was now at risk of losing his employment given the nature of the allegations against him.

"There is also a real likelihood of the defendant losing his liberty and livelihood if convicted," he said.

There was no objection to bail and the defendant was released on his own bail of £500 to appear before the Crown Court for his arraignment on January 16.

As part of his bail conditions he was ordered by District Judge Barney McElholm not to have any direct or indirect contact with any of the complainants or witnesses.

The accused was also ordered to continue to reside at his current home address.

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