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Man accused of raping and sexually assaulting child under 13 to face Crown Court

Defendant will appear for a preliminary enquiry next week via videolink from his solicitor's office

A man accused of raping and sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 will face Crown Court proceedings.

Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, heard on Tuesday that the case was ready to proceed with a preliminary enquiry (PE), ┬áthe legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with two counts of rape of a child under 13, sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault.

Speaking on Tuesday, defence barrister Patrick Taggart stated that he believed the case had been listed to “rubber-stamp” the fact papers had been prepared but he had yet to receive them.

Prosecution informed the court that this had been done.

She said: “The papers are in a position to be released to the defendant and this can proceed to a PE.”

Mr Taggart asked for the case to be listed in one week for this to take place.

He added: “I am happy to get everything in place in order for that to proceed.”

The barrister also confirmed to the court that his client would appear for the proceedings via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

The case was adjourned until July 7 for a preliminary enquiry to take place.

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