Northern Ireland

Special school teacher in court over child cruelty

A 59-year-old teacher at Parkview special school has appeared before Lisburn Magistrates Court accused of cruelty against children.

Stephen Downes of Glebe Gardens in Moira is alleged to have assaulted three children on five occasions between October 2010 and March 2011.

The court heard from a classroom assistant who said she had heard thuds, crying and screaming while Mr Downes was alone in a room with a pupil.

Mr Downes denies the charges.

The classroom assistant told the court she assumed from the noises that Mr Downes had pinned the pupil to the ground.

However, a lawyer for the teacher questioned why there had been a delay between the incident and the classroom assistant reporting it.

She said she did not know why there had been a delay.

The case has been adjourned.