Man charged with child sex assault remanded in custody after refusing to enter dock

Craigavon Court House
Craigavon Court House
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THREE prison staff had to forcibly restrain a 42 year old man who refused to enter the dock at Craigavon Magistrates Court to face charges linked to the indecent assault of a six year old girl in Lurgan.

David Thomas Paige, who had been living in Albert Street, Lurgan until recently, faced three charges but refused to enter the dock.

“I’m not going in, I’m not going in,” he shouted several times while prison staff struggled to restrain him.

Magistrate Alan White told him to face the dock but he continued struggling and shouted: “It’s my right. Bring me back to the cells.”

Mr White suggested the matter be postponed while Paige consulted with his solicitor.

“It doesn’t bode well for a bail application,” said Mr White.

Following discussions in chambers, it transpired that Paige still refused to appear in the dock and the matter was dealt with in his absence.

Paige faced three charges, that he intentionally touched sexually a child under 16 years old, that he abducted a child under the age of 16 and that he breached a sexual offences prevention order.

The PSNI officer leading the investigation told the court police had received a report on May 7 that a male in his 40s from Albert Street in Lurgan had enticed a six year old girl into his house and indecently assaulted her.

The officer said the child was interviewed the next day and told police she left her home to play with a friend but her friend was not at home and on her way home she met the defendant. He held out his arms to her and lifted her up to hug her. The child clearly identified the defendant and knew him by name.

She said the defendant told her to go round to the back door of his house and his door would be open and ‘to be careful of dogs’. She did so and went in the back door where she said the defendant sat her on his sofa.

He asked her if she wanted popcorn and he rubbed her stomach and back and knees. “At some point he tried to kiss her,” the officer told the court, adding the child said she was not happy. At this point, the child claimed the defendant became cross and told the child that if she told her mummy and daddy he would not let her back into the house.

The court heard the girl told her father who contacted the police.

The detective said that the windows of Paige’s home were smashed that same evening and he was removed by the police for his own safety. He was later arrested.

The officer said the defendant had denied knowing the child and denied the charges. Later he said that his door had been open all day and that he had lifted the little girl up to prevent her from being hit by a car.

He claimed that she must have wandered in through his back door when he was upstairs.

Paige’s solicitor said he was aware his client had a ‘serious record’ to which the magistrate replied that he had a serious and relevant record.

His solicitor claimed the vast majority were linked to breaches while he was a transient.

He said his client was prepared to be tagged and live at an address 30 miles from Lurgan. He said Paige has denied all the offences and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Paige, whose current address was given as, Innis Centre, Ventry Lane, Belfast, is already the subject of a sexual offences prevention order that forbids him having contact with children.

He is also charged with breaching the conditions of that order.

However Magistrate Alan White said there was a “serious risk” of Paige re-offending and that he had a large number of offences and that his record contained other serious sexual offences.

Paige was remanded in custody until June 7 to appear at Craigavon Magistates Court via video link.