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Man accused of raping and sexually assaulting stepdaughter over 10-year period to face Crown Court

He was released on his own bail of £500 to appear before Newry Crown Court in May

Newry courthouse police

A man accused of raping and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter over a 10 year period will face Crown Court proceedings next month.

He appeared at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with four counts of indecently assaulting a female, rape of a child under 13, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, attempted rape of a child under 13 and cruelty to a person under 16.

As these charges were read, it was heard that the defendant is accused of committing these offences between October 7, 2007, and November 20, 2017.

All of the allegations relate to a single female alleged injured party, who was identified by defence barrister Joel Lindsay as the defendant’s stepdaughter.

Appearing in court, the accused 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.

Mr Lindsay made no contrary submissions.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall said that she was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer.

The defendant was released on his own bail of £500 to appear before Newry Crown Court on May 25 for arraignment.

Following an application from Mr Lindsay, in which he outlined the severity of the case, Deputy District Judge Marshall granted two counsel for the Crown Court.

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