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World-renowned guitar maker denies NI-first upskirting charge


A Lisburn man has entered not guilty pleas to charges of upskirting and possession of indecent images of children.

The defendant was the first person to appear in court in Northern Ireland on upskirting charges, after upskirting was made a criminal offence by Stormont in March.

Stephen Mcilwrath, of Breton View in Lisburn, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court on Friday for arraignment.

The 62-year-old, who is the founder of Avalon Guitars,  appeared before the court charged with, on a date unknown, between July 1 2016 and May 30 2018, committing an act outraging public decency by recording upskirt images of an unknown female.

He was further charged with two counts of possession of indecent photographs of children, totalling 176 images, nine counts of making indecent photographs of children, and one count of possession of indecent photographs of a child with a view to them being distributed.

Appearing via video-link from a solicitor’s office, Mcilwrath pleaded not guilty to all of the charges before the court.

His Honour Judge Lynch, released the defendant on bail, to appear before the court on October 21 in the event that a severance application was to be made.

Judge Lynch informed the court that the trial date had been set for November 9.

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