Prosecutors ‘on track’ after judge recently warned delay could see man accused of sex offences have case dismissed

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A prosecutor has confirmed to a judge they are on course to hold a Preliminary Enquiry on October 25 regarding a man accused of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by allegedly having contact on social media with a 13-year-old girl.

Recently, when a previous deadline in the case was not met, District Judge Nigel Broderick warned any further delays meant he might throw out the case.

Richard David McCrea (39), whose address was given as Kent Avenue in Larne, was back before Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand.

The defendant is alleged to have committed the breach on March 22 this year.
He is also charged with harassing a female between December last year and February this year.

The defendant is further accused of improper use of a public electronic communications network by sending a message that was of a menacing character.

The fourth charge he faces is that being a person subject to notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act, on May 10 this year he had failed to notify police of a ‘change of detail’ within three days.

A prosecutor confirmed they are “on track” to hold the Preliminary Enquiry on October 25.

Recently, the judge had said he wanted an October 11 update on progress.

He had previously said if the Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court – did not happen by October 25 the defendant could be discharged.

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