Northern Ireland

Jim Magilton accused of assaulting teenage stepdaughter

Jim Magilton Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A lawyer for Jim Magilton said the "charge will be contested in full"

Former Northern Ireland and Premier League footballer Jim Magilton has appeared in court accused of assaulting his 14-year-old stepdaughter.

Mr Magilton, 47, who is currently the manager of Northern Ireland's Under-21 team, was charged with common assault.

The court heard that Mr Magilton allegedly gave the teenager "a couple of slaps to the head and dragged her down the stairs by the arms".

A defence lawyer said the accused did not accept the allegations.

The charge would be contested in full, he said, adding that his client gave a "full account" during police interviews.

District Judge Peter King at Antrim Magistrates' Court turned down a request for a ban on the press naming Mr Magilton.

The defence requested the reporting restriction.

However, the judge said he would not make the anonymity order as it was a physical assault rather than a sexual assault, and his "preference is for open justice".

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Jim Magilton won 52 caps with Northern Ireland

The accused, of Aberfoyle Gardens, Belfast, was released on bail but barred from contacting the alleged victim and from entering a specific area of Crumlin, County Antrim.

Mr Magilton began his playing career at Liverpool before joining Oxford United, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town.

He appeared 52 times for Northern Ireland, scoring five goals.

He also formerly managed Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers.

As well as managing the Northern Ireland Under-21 team, Mr Magilton is the Irish Football Association's elite performance director.

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