Man on eight charges of girl sex abuse

Published: 21 Jun 2012 13:00

A 44-year-old man accused of sexually abusing a young girl appeared before a Preliminary Enquiry at Fermanagh Court yesterday (Wednesday).

Paul Clarke.

Paul Clarke, of Castlebalfour House, Lisnaskea, faces five charges of indecently assaulting the girl between July 31, 2008, and February 1, 2009.

Clarke faces a further three charges of committing an act of gross indecency with the same girl. Two of the offences were allegedly committed on November 28, 2008, and the third the following day, November 29, 2008.

The girl cannot be named as the identity of an alleged victim of child sex abuse is protected by the law.

District Judge Austin Kennedy said that on the documents before him Clarke had a case to answer.

Clarke was asked if he wished to say anything in answer to the charges.

"No," he replied.

Asked if he wished to give evidence or call any witnesses, he again replied: "No".

He was returned for trial at Dungannon Crown Court on July 5, and released on continuing bail of £500 on condition that he has no contact with the injured party or any Crown witness.

His defence barrister, Mr. Gavin Cairns, pointed out that Clarke's GP was a witness, and asked for the doctor to be made an exception to the ban.

However, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Robin Steer, suggested that in the circumstances there might be another GP at the health centre who could deal with Clarke.

Mr. Cairns said Clarke had seen his GP on numerous occasions since the case came to light.

The District Judge said that from the GP's point of view it might not be advisable for him to see Clarke.

He maintained the bail condition prohibiting Clarke from contacting any witness, including his GP.

Jump to first paragraph.