PE for SOPO breach listed for November

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An application for the adjournment of a PE for a convicted Derry sex offender who breached a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) by possessing a computer was refused at Derry Magistrates’ Court yesterday

Stephen McCrossan (26), with an address at Kingsmere Gardens, appeared from Maghaberry via videolink to face a charge of breaching the SOPO on September 24, 2015.

A PPS spokesperson told the Court that although a preliminary enquiry was listed for November 3, due to the defendant being interviewed for further offences, investigating officers would struggle to meet that date.

He requested that the PE be put back to December 1.

But defence solicitor Derwin Harvey objected saying the defendant had been interviewed in relation to the SOPO on September 25, 2015, had made admissions, and that this was the 19th occasion he had been before the Court.

He told the Court the case was further complicated by the fact that Mr McCrossan lives with Asperger’s syndrome and, as such, requires a degree of certainty in his life.

District Judge McElholm expressed scepticism of the prosecution’s ability of bringing new charges and dealing with them all on December 1, as this hadn’t happened over the past 11 months.

“What I’ll do, quite frankly, if asked, is, I will grant bail today,” said Mr McElholm.

Mr Harvey said there was no application for bail at this stage, at which point District Judge McElholm, ruled that the PE go ahead as scheduled on November 3.