CLIFTONVILLE DROP JAY DONNELLY OVER GUILTY PLEA TO DISTRIBUTING INDECENT IMAGE OF A CHILD

Cliftonville forward Jay Donnelly has pleaded guilty to distributing indecent image of a child

CLIFTONVILLE FC has dropped strike Jay Donnelly for a match this weekend after he was convicted of distributing an indecent image of a child.

Donnelly had continued to appear for his club after the allegation emerged.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge last Friday at Belfast Magistrates’ Court  – and the  next day he played for the north Belfast club against Linfield.

He will be sentenced in January.

A separate count of taking or making an indecent photograph was withdrawn.

The north Belfast club said it is “dealing with a very sensitive and delicate matter” in relation to Donnelly.

It said its committee had been “availing of advice from all parties involved, as well as support organisations” as it wanted to make sure that it acted “correctly when dealing with legal and employment matters”.

The club added that it had received legal advice not to comment further on the case.

“We assure all that this situation is extremely difficult to resolve and ask our supporters and indeed the media to please bear with us as we seek a resolution,” the club added.

“Having spoken to all parties and Jay Donnelly, it has been decided Jay will not represent Cliftonville Football Club in tomorrow’s fixture with Dungannon Swifts.”

Pre-sentence reports have been ordered before Donnelly, of Ardilea Drive in north Belfast, is due back in court early in the new year.

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