Belfast Telegraph

Trucker bailed over sex attack allegations

By Alan Erwin

A Co Tyrone lorry driver wanted in the Irish Republic over sexual assault allegations has appeared in court after being detained on a European arrest warrant.

Roy David Cochrane is facing extradition proceedings in connection with claims that he attacked a girl in Co Donegal.

The 42-year-old, of Loughmuck Road, Omagh, denies the charges and was granted bail to appear again later this month.

Lawyers representing the Irish authorities opposed his release due to claims he may flee.

Cochrane was said to have indicated he was prepared to return to the Republic for any trial.

A barrister alleged that he has shown a reluctance in recent months to cross the border.

But Cochrane's counsel, Michael Boyd, told Belfast Recorder's Court that his client left Donegal to move back home before a complaint was made to gardai.

“It's not a situation where he scarpered,” he said.

Mr Boyd added that his client has made “tortuous attempts” through his solicitor to have the matter resolved.

“He recognises that this case will have to be dealt with at some stage or another,” the barrister said. “He is very much prepared to face the allegations, he denies them vigorously and robustly.”

Belfast Recorder, Judge David McFarland, granted bail after agreeing that Cochrane had shown co-operation with gardai.

He ordered the wanted man to surrender any passports and prohibited him from leaving Northern Ireland.

Cochrane's parents are also to put up a £1,000 cash surety as part of his release conditions.

The case will be reviewed on January 18.

Belfast Telegraph

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