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Ex-Northern Ireland school head faces child sex charges trial

William Lloyd-Lavery
William Lloyd-Lavery

By Paul Higgins

A former headmaster and Ulster Unionist Party press officer has been ordered to stand trial accused of historical child sex offences.

Seventy-year-old William Lloyd-Lavery, who was principal of Lurgan Further and Higher Education College from 1992-97 and was also formerly a press officer for UUP Mayor Samuel Gardiner, appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court to face the charges.

He confirmed that he understood the 13 historical sex offences allegedly committed against one victim on dates between December 1980 and February 1988.

Lloyd-Lavery, from Richmond Avenue in Lisburn, faces eight charges of indecently assaulting the boy and five counts relating to gross indecency with or towards the male child.

None of the facts of the case were opened on Thursday but previous courts have heard that Lloyd-Lavery was originally questioned by police about the allegations in 1989.

His solicitor revealed that Lloyd-Lavery - who once controversially claimed in a book to be a grandson of the last ruling Russian Tsar - later received a letter stating there was no further action being taken against him so the defence were considering an abuse of process application at the Crown Court.

During a short preliminary enquiry last Thursday, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against the pensioner, a submission conceded by the defence solicitor.

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Freeing the former headmaster on bail, District Judge Rosie Watters returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court and ordered the alleged pervert to appear before the higher court for his arraignment on July 4.

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