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Former top lawyer to fight child sex video charges

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Belfast Magistrates Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Belfast Magistrates Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Belfast Magistrates Court (Niall Carson/PA)

A former leading lawyer has denied a string of child abuse image offences.

Jonathan Lowry, whose work has included prosecuting sex offenders, was himself charged last year with making videos of child abuse and possessing extreme pornography.

At Laganside Magsitrates Court last week, the high-flying lawyer entered not guilty pleas to the six charges against him.

The 59-year-old self-employed barrister made his name as a prosecutor in Crown Court criminal cases ranging from major tax frauds to crimes of violence and high-profile sex offences up until 2016.

But now Lowry, whose name does not appear on the Bar of NI’s current list of barristers, finds himself as a defendant which may yet pose a potential problem for the judiciary.

Due to his extensive career as a prosecutor, it might not be possible for the Lord Chief Justice’s office to find a district judge for the case who is not known to Lowry.

The matter was briefly before a district judge at Laganside Magistrates Court at the end of December during which the magistrate told the court: “It may be me who presides but it may also be that there is another district judge who has no prior knowledge of the defendant.”

Lowry’s address on court papers is given as Holyrood Manor in the leafy Malone Road area in the south of Belfast, however, the property is currently listed for rent.

He is accused of making two indecent videos of children on unknown dates between September 2009 and April 2017.

Lowry also faces three charges of possessing extreme pornographic images, and is charged with attempting to possess an indecent image of a child on June 2, 2013.

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Belfast Telegraph