PlayStation devices being examined as part of investigation into boy (17) accused of sexual offences against number of teenage girls

Ballymena Court4
Ballymena Court.

POLICE are examining PlayStation devices as part of an investigation into allegations regarding a 17-year-old County Antrim male who is charged with sexual offences relating to a number of teenage girls, two aged only 13.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre where he was remanded previously on 21 charges.

The charges include rape, engaging in sexual activity with a child, blackmail, distributing indecent photos of children, possessing such photos, inciting children to take incident photos, disclosing private sexual photos, harassment and unauthorised access to computer material.

A previous court was told the boy allegedly told police: “All young girls nowadays are sluts”.

It was alleged that a girl (16) had taken a pregnancy test after the youth grabbed her by the throat before raping her in a bathroom.

At the earlier court it was also alleged a girl (13) had been sent an indecent image by the defendant via Snapchat showing his private parts and when he told her she knew where she lived she felt pressured to send a photo which the boy then sent to the girl’s mum via Facebook.

The court was told the defendant had also been in a relationship with a girl (17) and uploaded images to social media saying: “I have ruined your life”.

In another incident, a girl (13), with a learning disability was contacted on Snapchat and sent a photo of the defendant naked and he later contacted her when she was playing the online game ‘Fortnite’ and told her he knew she slept with her “blinds open”.

It is alleged the youth then tried to blackmail the girl by asking for £500 or else he would send her mother indecent images.

A defence barrister told the previous hearing his client denied rape and had insisted any sexual contact was consensual.

The lawyer said exchanging explicit photos was becoming “more prevalent” and added that as regards his client allegedly contacting mothers that was what was “rather crudely termed ‘revenge porn’.”

At Ballymena Court on December 27 a prosecution lawyer said the full file in the case was still incomplete.

A police officer said a number of enquiries had still to be completed including examination of a phone, iPad, PlayStation devices and hard drives.

The officer said another potential victim also had to be be spoken to as well as alleged witnesses and CCTV was being looked at.

The court head the defendant had not given a PIN code for a mobile phone which District Judge Nigel Broderick said could “slow up” the investigation.

A defence solicitor said it was anticipated there would be a High Court bail application in the “next couple of weeks”.

The defendant was remanded in continuing custody and the case was adjourned to January 24.

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