Tuesday 24 April 2018

Musical and reality TV star in court on child sex and voyeurism charges

Jeff Anderson (25)
Jeff Anderson (25)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A musical and reality show star has appeared in court charged with a raft of child sex and voyeurism offences.

Jeff Anderson (25) from Co Down first found fame taking part in Andrew Lloyd Webber's BBC talent show Jesus Christ Superstar.

As the show's youngest contestant, he earned himself the nickname "Baby Jesus".

While he didn't win the part of Jesus, he went on to be chosen as the understudy and toured the UK with the production.

He appeared on TV screens again in 2014 when he took part in BBC singing show The Voice - although he failed to impress judges and didn't make it past the audition stage.

Yesterday, Anderson, of Crawfordsburn Road, Newtownards, appeared at a sitting of Downpatrick Magistrates' Court to face 16 charges.

The court heard that charges were brought against him after an investigation from police lasting more than two years.

Anderson is charged with theft, specifically stealing photographs in 2011, three counts of possessing an indecent image of a child in 2013, two counts of indecent assault on children on dates between 2005 and 2007, and 10 counts of voyeurism on various dates between August 2005 and August 2013.

Anderson's solicitor, Paul Dougan, applied for a bail variation to allow his client to travel outside the jurisdiction to the Republic for work from February 1 to February 21.

A police officer told the court: "If he was to leave the UK, it's a lot harder to bring him back. We would prefer him to stay within the UK."

But Mr Dougan said the police investigation had been ongoing for more than two years and, during that time, when questioned voluntarily, Anderson has always travelled back to Northern Ireland from various places.

"Because of the work that he was doing, he's trying to secure employment in different forms and areas," he said.

The bail variation was granted.

Anderson was banned from owning any device capable of recording, excluding a mobile phone.

He was also told not to apply for a passport after surrendering his to police on January 7 and not to contact any witnesses involved with the case.

The district judge told Anderson: "You don't need me to tell you that failure to return to this jurisdiction will result in a European arrest warrant."

Anderson was released on his own bail of £750 to appear again at Newtownards court in March.

Outside the court, he made no comment and was taken away in a waiting Jaguar car.

Belfast Telegraph

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