Man found guilty of ‘attempted sexual communication with a child’

Ballymena Court

A MAN who had denied an allegation of ‘attempted sexual communication with a child’ has been found guilty.

The charge faced by Peter David Clyde (39), whose address was listed on the charge sheet as Rocavan Meadow, Broughshane, relates to January 18 last year.

The specifics of the charge are that ‘being a person aged 18 years or over, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification intentionally attempted to communicate with a person under 16 years, the communication being sexual or intended to encourage the said person to make a communication that was sexual, and you did not reasonably believe that person was 16 years or over contrary to Article 3(1) of the Criminal Attempts and Conspiracy (Northern Ireland) 1983 and Article 22A of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008.’

The case at Ballymena Magistrates Court has now been adjourned to late October for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

The defendant is on continuing bail.

He will be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The defendant had originally faced a second charge – ‘paying for sexual services of a person’ – but that was previously withdrawn by prosecutors.

The specifics of that charge had been: ‘Defendant on 18/01/2018, obtained sexual services from a person in exchange for payment, the payment having been made or promised by you, contrary to Article 64A of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008’.

Whilst there have been two previous prosecutions in Northern Ireland under legislation introduced in 2015, both involved attempting to pay for sexual services.

Clyde was understood to have been the first person charged with ‘paying for sexual services of a person’.

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