Ex DUP councillor caught in paedo-hunter sting to stand trial over alleged child sex offences
Although William Walker was originally charged with the offences six months ago, today is the first time the 60-year-old has actually appeared in court
A former DUP councillor was today ordered to stand trial accused of attempting to sexually communicate with two ‘children’.
Although William Walker was originally charged with the offences six months ago, today is the first time the 60-year-old has actually appeared in court.
Standing in the dock of Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court, wearing an open-necked white shirt and black suit jacket, Walker confirmed he had received the papers and statements to allow the preliminary enquiry (PE) to proceed and that he had no objection to the PE, necessary to elevate any case to the Crown Court.
Walker, originally from Killyleagh, Co Down, but now with a bail address at a hotel on the Palatine Road in Blackpool, is facing two counts of attempting to sexually communicate with ‘children’ ‘Sammy Jo’ and ‘Daisy May’ between February 10 and 23 last year “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification” when he did not reasonably believe they were over 16 years old.
It is understood the charges arise after a sting by a so-called paedophile-hunter group, who alerted the police. The police then arrested Walker, who has since resigned from the DUP.
Although the alleged facts surrounding the charges were not opened, a prosecuting lawyer submitted that the papers and statements formed the basis of a case to answer against the defendant, which was conceded by defence counsel Conan Rea.
The court clerk told Walker, who served on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council before his resignation, that although not obliged to, he had the right to comment on the charges and to call both evidence or witnesses on his behalf.
Walker, however, declined the opportunity.
Returning the case to Downpatrick Crown Court but not fixing a date for Walker to be arraigned, District Judge Amanda Brady freed the former councillor on his own bail of £300 under the conditions that he reside at an address provided by police and to have no unsupervised contact with children unless approved by Social Services.
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