62-year-old Derry man admits carrying out sex act on 15-year-old girl

A 62-year-old man has admitted carrying out a number of sex acts on a drunken teenage girl he met in a Derry park on Sunday night.

Defence solicitor John Fahy told District Judge Barney McElholm that during two interviews after his arrest, his client admitted sexual activity with the girl.

James Gallagher from St Columb's Wells on the cityside, appeared in court yesterday on three charges of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old in Bay Road Park.

Opposing bail, a detective constable said the defendant was alleged to have pushed the drunken teenage girl to the ground after she'd asked him to look for her mobile phone.

During his interviews the defendant said he thought the girl was aged between 17 and 20 and that she consented to the sex acts.

A police officer said that the girl had been drinking with friends in the park and was then afraid to go home because her parents would have been angry with her.

The Bay Road Park, a scenic wildlife refuge which was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2009, runs along the shore of Lough Foyle almost under the Foyle Bridge and is a favoured place for young people to gather.

Describing the case as highly emotive, District Judge McElholm refused bail and remanded the defendant in custody for three weeks.