Belfast Telegraph

OAP accused of abusing girl next door can't live at home

By Alan Erwin

A disabled 86-year-old man accused of sexually abusing a child has failed in a High Court bid to be allowed to return home - because the alleged victim lives next door.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is on bail charged with offences against the seven-year-old girl.

He faces counts of sexual activity with a child and inciting her to engage in sexual acts between January 2015 and December 2016.

Attending court with a walking stick, the man sought permission to move back in with his wife at their home in Co Londonderry.

During the hearing it emerged that he is also separately charged with rape and gross indecency with another child in the early 1980s. Opposing the application, prosecution counsel confirmed the alleged victim in the more recent case lives beside the accused's marital home.

"Her mother is somewhat distressed that the applicant would be residing next door to the complainant," he said.

"It's coming into the summer months and this young girl will be out playing in the streets."

Madam Justice McBride was told the accused is an ex-serviceman who had been injured in a plane crash.

Suggesting he could be ordered to live under house arrest, his defence barrister added: "He's not in any position to even go to the home next door."

But refusing the application, the judge ruled the property is too close to the girl. She said: "In light of the nature of the charges I consider that the address would be unsuitable."

Belfast Telegraph

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