CLIFTONVILLE STRIKER JAY DONNELLY TO FACE BELFAST COURT ON CHILD SEX PICTURE CHARGES

Cliftonville forward Jay Donnelly to appear in court this morning on child sex picture charges

CLIFTONVILLE striker Jay Donnelly is due in court this morning on child sex picture charges.

The Reds star dodged a night out with the lads after his side’s 3-0 win on Saturday saying he was “too tired’’ to party.

But behind the excuse was a secret he was keeping from his team mates and club management – he was due in court today on child sex picture offences.

According to court service records, the 22-year-old is face to Belfast Magistrates’ Court under his proper name of John Donnelly, of Ardilea Drive in the Ardoyne district of North Belfast for a first appearance hearing on two charges.

The first count reads that “on June 28, 2016, he took an indecent photograph of a child’’.

The second charge states that on “a date unknown between the 28th June 2016 and the 25th October 2016 he distributed or showed an indecent photograph of a child’’.

Both charges are being brought by the PSNI under Article 3 of the Protection of Children (NI) Order 1978.

Just hours before news broke of his courtroom appearance, his pals were wanting him to paint the town red after Cliftonville’s 3-0 home win over Carrick Rangers at Solitude.

On his Facebook page, Jay Donnelly wrote: “F**k at not going out lad to tried man’’.

One friend replied: “NS (no sweat) Jay.’’

The north Belfast club, chaired by Gerard Lawlor, was unaware of Donnelly’s court appearance.

An internal investigation is now under way into Donnelly’s child sex picture charges.

In a statement, the Irish League side said: “We have only become aware of the developments in this case.

“The club is currently investigating them and seeking advice on the matter.’’

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