Belfast Telegraph

Retired Belfast school teacher Stroud bailed on indecent assault charge

By Paul Higgins

A retired grammar school vice principal has appeared in court accused of indecently assaulting a woman more than 20 years ago.

Standing in Lisburn Magistrates Court, 70-year-old Francis Noel Stroud confirmed his identity and that he was aware of the single charge against him.

The father-of-three, from Sandymount Mews in Dunmurry, Belfast, is alleged to have indecently assaulted a female on a date between September 1 and December 31, 1994.

While none of the circumstances giving rise to the charge were opened during the brief preliminary hearing, a prosecuting lawyer claimed the legal papers "disclose a case to answer" - a submission that Stroud's defence solicitor conceded.

The court clerk asked Stroud if he wished to comment on the charge or present evidence to the court by testifying or calling witnesses, but he replied, "no, not at this time".

Returning the case to Craigavon Crown Court after granting a bad character application, District Judge Rosie Watters released Stroud on his own bail of £500.

She also ordered him to appear before the higher court on September 8.

At the time of the allegations, Stroud was a maths teacher and vice principal at Hunterhouse College in south Belfast.

Judge Watters reserved the granting of legal aid after receiving details of the defendant's income and expenses.

Belfast Telegraph


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