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No decision yet which court will hear case of man accused of attempted sexual communication with child

District judge adjourned the case to allow his colleague who 'started' case to 'finish it'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man accused of attempted sexual communication with a child and encouraging the making of indecent photographs will have to wait to see if his case will be heard in the Crown Court.

District Judge Paul Copeland told court: “I will let my colleague, who started it, finish it.”

Richard Brooks Porter, of Edenaveys Crescent, appeared charged with attempted sexual communication with a child, encouraging or assisting the making of an indecent photograph of a child and encouraging or assisting the distribution of an indecent photograph of a child.

Court previously heard that the 44-year-old had allegedly been in contact with police who were “acting as young people online”.

On Tuesday at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, prosecution stated: “Under the Magistrates Act, the prosecution are able to determine the venue of certain cases.

“Numerous offences of a similar nature as this have been heard in courts such as Newtownards, Belfast and Dungannon.”

District Judge Copeland commented: “Deputy Dsitrict Judge Archer raised issues with this case. Is it not he who should make the decision?”

Prosecution stated: “I was hoping to persuade your worship otherwise, no one has received a custodial sentence in cases such as this jurisdiction-wide.”

Defence solicitor Jarlath Fields said: “We take no issue with the matter proceeding in the Magistrates.”

District Judge Copeland, who made no ruling, stated: “I will let my colleague, who started it, finish it.”

The case was adjourned to July 8 for the attention of Deputy District Judge Brian Archer.

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