Man targeted by so-called paedophile-hunting group has been granted bail but is struggling to get an address given the ‘nature’ of court charges

A Coleraine man who has allegedly been videoed by a so-called paedophile hunting group has been granted bail but is struggling to find an address because of the nature of the court charges he faces, a court heard on Monday.

Harold Burke (59), of Quilly Road, is charged with two counts of attempted sexual communication with a child and two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He is also accused of possessing 370 rounds of .22 ammunition in suspicious circumstances. The charges relate to July and August last year.

He appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand.

A defence solicitor said the defendant had been granted High Court bail but “given the nature” of the alleged offences, the lawyer added, getting an address was still being looked at.

Meanwhile, the solicitor said the PSNI was still awaiting material regarding “additional allegations from one of these hunter groups based in Dublin”.

At a previous court hearing the defence solicitor said one of the police objections to bail for Burke was in relation to concerns for the “safety” of the defendant in the community.

The lawyer told that court Burke had “never received a threat” and said the “only difficulties he encountered” were last year when a “hunter group attended and videoed him at his home”.

At Monday’s court a prosecutor said the investigating officer had indicated they should soon be submitting the majority of files surrounding the charges currently being faced by Burke.

Burke was remanded back into custody pending a bail address being found and the case was adjourned to March.
Following Monday’s court hearing, the Court Service confirmed that Burke had been granted High Court bail on January 24 this year on the sum of £750 but it had not been perfected.

The bail conditions were that he resided at an address approved by police; reported twice a week to a police station; does not enter Coleraine or Limavady and he should not have any unsupervised contact with any child under 16.

He was not to possess or have access to any device which can access the internet and he had to allow the police access to any property he is residing in in order to search for and seize any internet-enabled device.

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