Party planner accused of having indecent videos of girl (13) has case sent to Crown Court

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A children’s birthday party planner charged with having indecent videos of a young teenage girl and other alleged offences regarding the child has had his case sent to Antrim Crown Court.

Alistair McIlroy (29), of Thornbrooke, Ahoghill, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday in connection with a total of seven charges which are alleged to have happened between June 2015 and July 2016.

He faces two counts of possessing indecent videos of a girl, who according to the charge, was aged 13 at the time.

McIlroy also faces three charges of ‘for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification intentionally communicated” with the same child, ‘the communication being sexual or intended to encourage’ the youngster ‘to make a communication that was sexual’.

The sixth charge is that he intentionally caused the girl to ‘engage in a sexual activity’ and the final charge is that ‘for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification’ intentionally caused the child ‘to look at an image of a person engaging in sexual activity’.

During a Preliminary Enquiry - the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court - at Ballymena Court on Thursday the defendant confirmed his name and date of birth.

A prosecutor submitted on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said he had no contrary submissions.

District Judge Peter King held there was a case to answer.

McIlroy, who stood in the dock with his hands behind his back and at one stage closed his eyes for a few seconds, replied “no” when asked if he wished to say anything in relation to the charges.

The prosecutor said the application was to return the case to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in late October and the defendant to be admitted to continuing bail. That was granted by Judge King.

Mr McAtamney had an application for senior counsel in the case granted by the judge.

At a previous court in early August the defendant had bail fixed on the sum of £500.

As part of his bail is is not to contact the alleged injured party or any witness in the case.

He is banned from having contact with any person under the age of 18 unless supervised by another adult and he must not have access to internet-enabled devices.

He is is further banned from entering Ballymena Showgrounds and a geographic area.

McIlroy is well-known in the Ballymena area where he runs Ally’s Sports, which specialises in staging sports-themed birthday parties for children aged five and upwards at venues or at their homes.

He has also worked as a sports coach in schools.