Admitted sexually assaulting a child

Bishop Street Courthouse
Bishop Street Courthouse

A 43-year-old man has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, had initially denied a total of 35 charges which included rape, buggery and assault.

However, prior to a jury being sworn to try the case at Derry Crown Court the defendant made an application to be re-arraigned.

The 43-year-old admitted six charges of indecently assaulting the girl, two charges of gross indecency and a making a threat to damage property.

He also admitted eight charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The offences were committed between April 1 2006 and December 31, 2009.

After the man entered these guilty pleas, a prosecution barrister applied for the remainder of the charges to be ‘left on the books’ not to be proceeded with.

Sentencing was adjourned for a probation pre-sentence report to be compiled and the prosecutor said a victim impact report may also be sought.

Defence QC Billy McCrory applied for his client to be released on bail to await sentencing, however the court heard that police have concerns about the defendant’s safety if he was released.

Refusing bail, Judge Piers Grants said the offences were serious and a custodial sentence is “inevitable”.

The man was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on May 10.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register.