GAA treasurer sexual abuse casegains PE date for crown trial

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

By Donal McMahon

A FORMER Crossmaglen Rangers GAA treasurer facing a litany of sexual abuse allegations has had a date for a preliminary enquiry (PE) set in what was described as “exceptional” case.

Thomas McKenna (60) with an address of Maghaberry prison, is charged sexual abuse allegations which cover a period of 30 years between 1988 and his initial arrest in August 2018.

The charges involving 12 victims, include three counts of buggery against persons aged over 16 without consent, attempted buggery, 11 indecent assaults on males and two gross indecency offences, one of which was against a child, three sexual assaults and two counts of sexual assault by penetration.

The accused, is also charged with having stored and recorded indecent images of more than 50,000 photos and video clips, many depicting young men and boys naked or partially clothed.

Previously employed as a postman, Mr McKenna also faces charges of interfering with Royal Mail post.

The Newry court heard that a previous outbreak of Covid-19 at the PSNI cyber unit had delayed the case.

Defence barrister, Kevin Magill told the court that there “was quite a lot of work to be done” ahead of the PE.

Mr McKenna has been on remand at Maghaberry prison since October 2018 and had not been formerly interviewed by the PSNI since 2019.

District judge Eamonn King granted the adjournment for four weeks with a PE to potentially elevate the case to the crown court taking place on March 10.

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