Ex-teacher in court on historic charge

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A retired grammar school vice-principal appeared in Lisburn Magistrates’ Court on Monday accused of indecently assaulting a female more than 20 years ago.

Francis Noel Stroud, 70, a father-of-three from Sandymount Mews in Dunmurry, is charged with indecently assaulting a female on a date unknown between September 1 and December 31, 1994.

During a brief preliminary enquiry, a prosecuting lawyer claimed the legal papers “disclose a case to answer”, a submission which Stroud’s defence solicitor conceded.

The court clerk asked Stroud if he wished to comment on the charge or present evidence to the court, but he said “no, not at this time”.

Returning the case to Craigavon Crown Court District Judge Rosie Watters released Stroud on his own bail of £500 and ordered him to appear before the higher court on September 8 for his arraignment. She reserved the granting of legal aid.

At the time of the allegations, Stroud was a maths teacher and vice principal at Hunterhouse College in south Belfast.