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Man facing cruelty charges after social media video showing child driving lorry on M1

A man has been returned for trial on child cruelty charges which relate to a boy driving an HGV lorry on the M1 Motorway near Dungannon while another child stood in the cab, which was filmed and shared on social media.

The accused, who is aged in his thirties but cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, is charged with two counts each of child cruelty, aiding and abetting dangerous driving as well as aiding and abetting driving while disqualified by age.

He faces a further charge of dangerous driving on his own account.

Police swooped after the video was widely shared on social media showing the children, both of whom were aged under 10 at the time.

The cruelty charges allege the accused wilfully ill-treated, neglected and exposed both children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

All matters relate to an incident on September 6, 2020.

A prosecuting lawyer told Dungannon Magistrates’ Court there is a case to answer, which was agreed by District Judge Michael Ranaghan.

The accused did not object to the proceedings and declined to call witnesses or give evidence on his own behalf at this stage.

Judge Ranaghan remanded him on continuing bail to appear for arraignment at Dungannon Crown Court on May 31.

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