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Reporting ban refused for police officer facing trial for sexual assault

Newry courthouse police

Reporting restrictions have been refused in the case of a serving police officer who has been returned for trial on a charge of sexual assault.

Appearing for a committal hearing was Derek Montgomery (52) whose address was given as PSNI Headquarters Knock Road in Belfast.

He is accused of intentionally touching the complainant in a sexual manner to which she did not consent during an alleged incident on September 29, 2021.

A prosecuting lawyer told Omagh Magistrates’ Court there is a case to answer, which was agreed by District Judge Bernie Kelly.

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

No details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged incident were disclosed during the short hearing.

Montgomery, who is understood to have been suspended from the PSNI was remanded on £500 bail to appear for arraignment at Dungannon Crown Court next month.

He was ordered to have no contact with the complainant or any prosecution witnesses.

A defence barrister drew attention to his client’s default address and said a risk assessment requires to be updated, but before he could go further Judge Kelly stated: “You are not getting a reporting restriction. You should know by now that is a fairly narrow avenue.

“I make it perfectly clear there are no reporting restrictions in place save for what is the standard as governed by Press themselves in respect of the complainant, which applies in all these cases.”

She also refused an application for Legal Aid noting: “With that address, I don’t think so. How would you get Legal Aid with those sort of wages? Take it from me, you can’t.”

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