A man accused of attempting to rape and engaging in sexual activity with his 15-year-old niece at a family gathering has appeared in court.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was granted bail subject to an address approved by police at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Tuesday.
As he appeared via videolink from police custody, the defendant confirmed that he understood the charges which he faced.
The accused faces three charges, namely; attempted rape, giving intoxicating liquor to a child and sexual activity with a child aged between 13 and 16.
Defence solicitor Sean-Pol Begley informed the court that he wished to make a bail application on his client’s behalf.
A constable, who connected the defendant to the charges, revealed that the alleged injured party was the accused’s niece and that she was just 15 years of age.
Prosecution stated that the defendant’s only entries on his record were for road traffic matters and that these were of some vintage.
They outlined that the objections were risk of re-offending and the potential of interference with witnesses.
Mr Begley stated that his client had put forward an address with his sister which was “well away” from the alleged injured party’s home.
However, the constable commented: “We believe that she was at the family party and was a witness to the interaction between uncle and niece.”
Mr Begley rejected this, saying: “There is no suggestion she was a witness to the alleged event. She left earlier in the night and was not a direct witness.”
District Judge Amanda Brady stated: “I am minded to grant bail but that will only be once the police get the chance to speak to the sister.”
The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 to an address approved by police with conditions of no alcohol and no contact with the injured party.
The case was adjourned until August 5 to see if bail has been perfected.
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