Belfast Telegraph

Ten charged with intimidating Francis McPeake: Folk musician fled his Belfast home after allegations he sexually abused schoolgirl

Ten people are facing prosecution for allegedly forcing a folk musician ultimately cleared of sexually abusing a girl to flee his home, it emerged today.

The six women and four men have been charged with intimidating Francis McPeake to leave his house in Belfast through force, threats or menaces.

Eight of them are also accused of riotous assembly during an incident in September last year.

Mr McPeake, 72, was forced to quit his home in the Markets area after a crowd gathered in the area.

At the time the well-known traditional Irish musician was facing accusations of having committed sexual offences against a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

But he was acquitted of all 12 charges against him following a two-week trial earlier this year.

Prosecutions are now being brought over the earlier incident.

None of the accused were present at Belfast Magistrates' Court as the case was mentioned.

A preliminary investigation hearing is to be held to establish whether any of them has a case to answer.

Those proceedings were listed for February next year.

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