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.

The case against the pair was 'mentioned' in Newry Magistrates Court, where the date of the preliminary enquiry was set, alongside a case review to be held on 12 June, and the implementation of new bail conditions for Sir Jeffrey. Neither Sir Jeffrey of his wife were required to appear in court today and were represented by their legal team.
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The court agreed to change Sir Jeffrey's bail condition of 'no contact with anyone under the age of 16', to 'no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16', alongside the condition that the Eleanor Donaldson cannot be the supervising adult.

Sir Jeffrey (61) is facing a total of 11 charges – one of rape, one of gross indecency towards a child, and nine charges of indecent assault towards a female on dates between 1985 and 2006.

Eleanor Donaldson (58) is to face four charges – aiding and abetting rape, aiding and abetting indecent assault of a female and two charges of cruelty to a person under 16.

According to reports, following the brief hearing today in Newry, a solicitor representing Sir Jeffrey, said that while he would continue as MP for Lagan Valley "at the present time", he would not stand for re-election in order to concentrate on the trial and "defending the charges".

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