24/04/2024

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson And Wife Appear In Court

Former DUP Leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and his wife, Lady Eleanor Donaldson, have appeared before Newry Magistrates Court charged with a number of historical sex offences.

Donaldson, 61, is facing a total of 11 charges, including one charge of rape, one of gross indecency involving a child and nine charges of indecent assault.

His wife, 58-year-old Lady Eleanor, is facing four charges, including two counts of cruelty to a person under 16, aiding and abetting rape and aiding and abetting indecent assault.
News Image
The pair appeared together in court, speaking only to confirm their names, dates of birth and that they understood the charges.

They were not required to enter a plea at this stage.

Both have been released on bail of £350 each, with the removal of a previous condition that barred them from having any direct contact. They have also been told they must not make contact with any prosecution witnesses.

Another court date was set for 22 May, but it is understood that Sir Jeffrey and his wife have been excused from having to appear on that date.

According to reports, a detective sergeant told that the court that "police believe they can connect both accused to the charges".

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 February 2024
'Future Of The Union Is In The Hands Of Our Children' – Sir Jeffrey
The choices unionists make today will either grow support for Northern Ireland or "cede ground to the enemies of the Union", DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has told a meeting of Party members and supporters.
27 March 2024
Man Wanted In Lithuania Arrested In Magherafelt
The PSNI have arrested a 23-year-old man in Magherafelt wanted in Lithuania to face charges of human trafficking. The man was arrested by officers from the Police Service's local policing team in Magherafelt, with assistance from the International Policing Unit. He is expected appear before extradition court in Belfast later today.
02 April 2024
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson Steps Down As DUP Leader
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has stepped down as Leader of the DUP after being charged with allegations of a historical nature. Mr Gavin Robinson MP has been appointed by Party Officers as the Interim Party Leader.
06 February 2024
Four Charged In Connection With Blake Newland Murder
Four people are due to appear before Ballymena Magistrates' Court charged in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Blake Newland. The Limavady teenager died after being found with serious stab wounds at a house in the town on Friday, 02 February. Detectives investigating the murder, have now charged two men, aged 27 and 29, with murder.
22 May 2024
New Court Date Set For Jeffrey Donaldson Sex Offences Case
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and his wife, Eleanor Donaldson, have been ordered to appear again in court on 03 July for the start of a Preliminary Enquiry.