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Student accused of distributing indecent images and blackmail to face Crown Court in New Year

The 21-year-old Armagh man is also alleged to have incited others to make indecent photographs and having sexual communication with a child

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who is accused of distributing indecent images of children and blackmail will face Crown Court proceedings in the New Year.

The 21-year-old is also alleged to have incited others to make indecent photographs and having sexual communication with a child.

Mark Wilson, of Thornleigh, appeared for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, via videolink from England, where he is a student.

The accused is charged with three counts of distributing indecent photographs of children, four counts of blackmail, attempting to possess an indecent photograph, two counts of inciting another to make an indecent photograph, sexual communication with a child and inciting a child under 16 to engage in a sexual activity.

As the charges were read, it was heard that these offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates between December 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017 with a total of four alleged male injured parties.

In relation to the blackmail charges, the defendant is accused of making an “unwarranted demand of naked images” with a view to gain for himself or another or to cause loss to another.

Appearing via videolink, Wilson made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence barrister Justin Byrne made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Paul Copeland satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer released the defendant on his own bail of £750 to appear before Newry Crown Court on January 5 for arraignment.

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