Boy, 12, accused of sex assault on schoolgirl in underground car park

High Street Mall.
High Street Mall.
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A 12-year-old boy sexually assaulted a schoolgirl in an underground car park, it was claimed in the High Court on Friday.

Prosecutors alleged that he touched her repeatedly after asking her for a “one-off” in Portadown.

The boy, who cannot be identified, is accused of a further confrontation days later which left the 13-year-old too frightened to go back to the town.

He faces charges of sexual assault, intimidation of a witness and common assault over the two alleged incidents in January.

In a separate incident the same month the defendant allegedly threw a lit cigarette at a member of staff in a children’s centre.

A judge was also told he is being investigated over claims of threatening violence to a worker after shouting “Get f****** dinner.”

The boy allegedly responded to be challenged by warning: “I will break your f****** jaw in two places.”

During a bail application the prosecution disclosed that the schoolgirl claimed he approached her in a car park at the town’s High Street Mall.

“She alleged he said ‘Come on, let’s just have a one-off’,” a Crown lawyer said.

According to her account the boy put his hand inside her leggings a number of times, despite being pushed away.

Three days later he allegedly approached her again in the town centre and asked why she had been spreading rumours about him.

Amid fears he was going to hit her the girl phoned her mother and remained in toilets until she was collected, the court was told.

“The incident has caused the injured party to feel frightened and not want to go (back) to Portadown,” counsel added.

Opposing bail, she contended that the accused’s own mother has struggled to deal with him.

On one occasion he allegedly left barefooted after she took all his shoes in a bid to keep him at home.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne, accepted that the alleged sexual assault was the most serious incident.

“It appears there was a group of young teenagers socialising together and there was an element of attempted kissing,” the lawyer said.

His client disputes the girl’s claims that he put his hand inside her leggings onto her skin.

Bail was granted following defence submissions that the boy should be in care rather than custody.