Chorister from Co Antrim who was the subject of a BBC documentary charged with child sex offenses

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Nigel McClintock featured in a BBC documentary special called Choirboys which tasked him with building a world-class choir from scratch.

Nigel McClintock, the subject of a three-part BBC 1 NI documentary in 2010, was at Belfast Magistrates Court this week charged with sexual communications with a child.

The acclaimed 50-year-old organist and conductor, from Albert Road, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, is charged with the offense in April this year.

McClintock, who studied at the Royal College of Music, was not required to appear in person, but at a short hearing at Belfast Laganside Courthouse a police officer told the court he could link to the accusation.

The exact wording of the charge states that he “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, intentionally communicated with another person…and the communication was sexual or intended to encourage (name redacted) to do (whether that either to you or to another) a communication of a sexual nature, and (name deleted) was under the age of 16 and you did not reasonably believe that (name deleted) was 16 or older, contrary to Section 22A of the Sexual Offenses (NI) Order 2008”.

He has not yet pleaded guilty and the case has been adjourned until later this year.

McClintock featured in a special BBC documentary titled Choir boys who commissioned him to build a world-class choir from the ground up to perform at St. Peter’s Cathedral on the Falls Road in a bid to improve the declining congregation.

As musical director, he also took the choir to Rome to perform for Pope Benedict XVI inside the Vatican in 2010.

According to a BBC publicity press release at the time, Nigel McClintock and his assistant scoured schools in Belfast to find raw singing talent and turn them into real choristers.

They said: “Over the course of the television series, viewers will see their hours of rehearsal finally pay off as the choir makes its mark not just in Ireland, but across Europe.

“A highlight for the choir and our documentary team was at Easter when the elaborate cathedral ceremonies were televised live across Europe.

“The choir barely had time to catch its well-tuned breath, when the boys were invited to sing at a memorial service at the Parliament Buildings, Stormont, for the late Polish President.

“And before heading out at the end of June to take on the biggest challenge of all – singing for Pope Benedict XVI inside the Vatican – they took part in a performance with the Irish tenors, embarked on an intensive fundraising , passed music exams, attended masterclasses and celebrated quite a few birthdays.

Nigel McClintock said at the time: “The choir is a unified and wonderful group of people. Every one of them contributes so much, and they’re almost like extended family in a way…and they’re all very talented.

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