Magherafelt Magistrates Court.
A defence lawyer acting on behalf of a man accused of attempting to communicate sexually with a child, was taken aback on learning a decision has been taken by the Public Prosecution Service to keep the case in the lower court.
Iulian Burlacu, 28, of Aughrim Road, Magherafelt, but currently residing in England, is accused of intentionally attempting to communicate sexually with a person he believed to be a child and intended to encourage the child to reciprocate in a similar manner, for sexual gratification.
The offence is alleged to have occurred over two years ago on February 22, 2018, although no details around this was disclosed during the short hearing at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.
When the case was mentioned, a prosecution lawyer simply stated, 'a decision has been taken', and proceeded to hand over a folder of evidence to the defence.
Surprised by this, the defence remarked: “I would have thought this was a matter for crown court.”
The prosecution did not respond.
An adjournment was granted for legal instructions to be obtained from Burlacu on how he intends to plead.
District Judge Oonagh Mullan listed the case for mention next month.
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