Car salesman appears in court charged with rape and trafficking of three 'vulnerable young females'
Oliver James McCormack (68) confirmed he understood the 17 charges against him
A Lisburn second hand car sales man appeared in court today accused of the rape, trafficking and controlling the prostitution of three “vulnerable and young females”.
In addition, Oliver James McCormack (68) was also accused of aiding and abetting the gang rape of two of the women and paying them all for sexual services.
Appearing at Belfast Magistrates Court by videolink from police custody McCormack, from the Barnfield Road in Lisburn, confirmed that he understood the 17 charges against him, alleged to have been committed on various dates between March 2017 and April last year, including three counts each of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, controlling prostitution and paying for sexual services.
The balding alleged pimp, who appeared wearing a police issue grey tracksuit, faces two counts of aiding and abetting rape and single offences of false imprisonment, supplying heroin and administering a noxious substance intending to facilitate kidnapping and sexual activity.
Testifying that he believed he could connect McCormack to each of the charges, Det. Const. McGreevy said police were objecting to the alleged pimp being freed on bail due to fears of further offences being committed and the risk of witness intimidation.
He outlined that in essence, each of the three complainants were “vulnerable young females” who, on the Crown case, were paid in heroin for sexual services by McCormack.
The officer said while the 17 charges relate to three women, they have identified “other potential victims” who have not yet been spoken to by police.
Taking the three complainants in turn, the officer said “victim one” was a heroin addict who told cops that after she had been introduced to McCormack “he regularly provided her with heroin in return for sexual services.”
On one occasion, she reported that McCormack took her to his friends house where she was to “provide sexual services” to him and his friend in exchange for cash and heroin.
“She consented to being handcuffed and gagged and for the defendant and his friend to have sex with her however once they finished, two further males were brought into the room and they raped her while the defendant masturbated,” said the officer.
That female further claimed that when she told McCormack “she didn’t want to work as a prostitution for him any more,” he gave her a drink which caused her to pass out and that “over the course of two days he repeatedly raped her while as she drifted in and out of consciousness".
“Victim two,” said DC McGreevy, was also a heroin addict and she was “struggling to fund” her addiction when she was introduced to McCormack who paid her for sex.
Following on from that, “he arranged her appointments with customers, drove her to and from appointments and paid her in heroin or took 60% of her cash earnings”.
“She said she would use the 40% to buy heroin from the defendant,” he told the court.
Turning to the last complainant, the officer said she had been working as a prostitute from 17-years-old when she met the defendant and he paid her in heroin for sex.
“He would later pick her up at her home and take her to Bankmore Street where he put her to work as a prostitution,” said DC McGreevy, adding that McCormack also allegedly drove her to customers’ houses.
“This injured party details how he raped her on two occasions,” said the officer, outlining an incident when she was taken to a customer’s house to have sex with one man.
Once there however “she was forced to have sex with four men while the defendant masturbated”.
In relation to bail objections, the detective submitted that McCormack “is in regular contact heroin users and sex workers and they would be known to the victims and he may use these people to exert pressure on them to withdraw there statements or stop other victims coming forward.”
Defence solicitor Patrick Madden argued that the PSNI had the alleged victims’ statements “for months” but had only recently opted to arrest him despite labelling him as a “flight risk who poses a danger".
The officer confirmed under cross examination that McCormack had denied the allegations during seven police interviews, claiming that he had gotten to know the women while meeting with “other car enthusiasts in a car park on Bankmore street, close to where street prostitutes work".
“He would have become friendly with some of them, helping them with money and clothes and so on,” said Mr Madden, adding that in contrast to police claims that McCormick is a drug supplying rapist pimp, “he made the case that he was acting as a Good Samaritan".
He revealed that McCormack also made the case the woman are motivated by money, claiming that a detective told them they would get £15,000 in a criminal compensation claim and said that one of them had even “said sorry” to him for making it up, promising to withdraw her evidence.
Mr Madden submitted that with a package of stringent conditions, McCormack could be freed on bail.
District Judge Amanda Henderson said however that she was concerned about further offences being committed and with potential witness interference so bail was refused and McCormack was remanded into custody with his case adjourned to 23 May.
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