A single jury may not be able to deal with the full extent of the alleged child sex abuse by a Belfast man accused of assaulting dozens of schoolgirls, a court heard today.
The 53-year-old defendant’s lawyer wants the case against him to be split to ensure he can be dealt with properly.
The man is currently being held at Maghaberry Prison on a total of 132 charges relating to more than 40 alleged victims.
He has been repeatedly accused of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, extortion and sexual communication with a child.
Other charges include molestation, making death threats, taking and possessing indecent photographs and attempting to organize a child prostitute.
The alleged crimes were committed between January 2017 and March 2020.
The man is not named to ensure none of the girls are identified.
His lawyer told Belfast Magistrates’ Court to ask prosecutors to consider splitting the complaint into three separate charges.
Chris Sherrard pointed out that more than 40 counts in a single indictment could be considered “overload.”
He said: “It would be difficult for a jury to understand or deal with such a large number of indictments.”
Mr Sherrard added: “There are also issues with the defendant’s ability to take in all this information and adequately understand the charges against him.”
Assistant District Judge Liam McStay granted a three-week adjournment.
He also confirmed that the accused would be brought out of custody for the next hearing.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/single-jury-may-not-be-able-to-deal-with-scale-of-alleged-child-abuse-by-accused-man-court-told-41618200.html A single jury may not be able to deal with the scale of the accused man’s alleged child molestation, the court said