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Man Arrested Near Primary School Faces Court Amidst Controversy Over Identity

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In a recent court hearing, a judge highlighted the disturbing presence of a man near a primary school, where numerous children were present. The incident was recorded on a witness’s mobile phone, which subsequently led to the man’s arrest. According to the witness, the defendant was seen “ducking up from behind a wall, looking in the direction of the children.” At one point, a child came within a meter of him but quickly ran away upon noticing his presence.

The witness promptly shared the two-minute video with the police, who identified and arrested the defendant. During the court proceedings, the defendant attempted to interrupt, but the judge sternly ordered him to remain silent, warning him that any further disruption could lead to a contempt of court charge.

Upon arrest and subsequent interview, the man denied all allegations. He claimed that neither he nor his car was in the footage and went as far as to accuse the person recording the video of being “a paedo.” The judge revealed that the defendant had a significant criminal history, with 32 previous convictions, including multiple breaches of the sex offenders register and numerous convictions related to indecent images of children.

Defense counsel Grant Powles highlighted that the defendant is currently living under a threat from loyalist paramilitaries. He argued that there were “triable issues” concerning the identification of the defendant and emphasized the presumption of innocence. With the case expected to proceed to the Crown Court, Powles noted the potential length of the process and pointed out that the police had no objections to the defendant’s address. He, therefore, requested bail with a stringent bail package.

However, Judge Magill refused the bail request, remanding the defendant into custody and adjourning the case to 16 July.

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