Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

McKenna: No fresh charges after police questioning

Following a fresh bout of police questioning last week, no new charges have been levelled against former Crossmaglen man Thomas McKenna, a court has heard.

Appearing in Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday last, the 59-year-old former treasurer of Crossmaglen Rangers GFC was released into police custody to be interviewed in relation to further allegations of sexual offences. 

McKenna, whose address is given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, is currently accused of the sexual abuse of 12 victims, carried out over a period of almost 30 years.

On one set of charges he faces 10 offences against three males including five counts of sexual assault, three counts of indecent assault and single counts of buggery and attempted buggery.

On a second indictment, he is accused of a total of 17 charges alleged to have been committed between 1988 and his arrest in August last year.  These offences include two counts of buggery against persons aged over 16 without consent, and two gross indecency offences, one of which was against a child.

He is also charged with sexual assault, voyeurism and eight counts of indecent assault, along with making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

The retired postman is further alleged to have interfered with mail during his time of employment.

Previous court hearings have heard that the “serious and complex investigation” involves alleged victims who claim McKenna either sexually abused them or he took photos and videos of them without their permission.

Police searches led to the recovery of devices said to contain 43,000 still images and 8,000 short video clips – some allegedly taken covertly.

Having spent 24 hours in police custody for questioning over new allegations, McKenna was back in the dock on Thursday where the court heard there was no new charges being brought.

District Judge Paul Copeland remanded McKenna back into custody to appear again via video link on 16th October.