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Portadown man facing a litany of child sex charges to face Crown Court

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Portadown man charged with a litany of child sex offences, including rape of child under 13, will face Crown Court proceedings later this month.

The 36-year-old appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Darren McNeice, of Timakeel Close, faces a total of 29 charges with just one alleged injured party named on the papers.

These charges are namely;  two counts of rape on a child under 13, eleven counts of sexual activity including penetration of a child under 16, sexual assault of a child under 13, sexual activity with a child under 16, inciting a child under 13 to engage in a sexual activity, three counts of  inciting a child under 16 to engage in a sexual activity, committing a sexual act in the presence of a child under 16, sexual communication with a child, four counts of possessing an indecent image of a child and two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child.

As the charges were read, it was heard that the defendant is alleged to have committed these offences on various dates between January 1, of 2017, and March 11, of this year.

Appearing via videolink from Maghaberry, the defendant 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 Conor Lunny made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Bernie Kelly, satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer, remanded McNeice in custody to appear at Craigavon Crown Court on a December 21.

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