Facial wounds | 

Teen accused of double rape left with ‘significant injury’ after ‘reprisal attack’, court told

Visible scarring could be seen on the right cheek of the defendant (17), who cannot be identified because of his age

Newry Crown Court

Paul HigginsBelfast Telegraph

An alleged teenage rapist charged with three separate sex attacks was left with significant facial wounds in a “reprisal attack”.

Visible scarring could be seen on the right cheek of the 17-year-old defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age as he appeared at Armagh Magistrates Court, sitting in Newry, via videolink.

He faces three charges, including attempted rape against a teenage girl in September 2021, rape of a second complainant on December 20 and rape of a third alleged victim on December 30 last year.

A PSNI detective said she believed she could connect the accused to each of the alleged offences, adding that police objected to him being granted bail amid fears he would interfere with witnesses or commit further offences.

“We believe that the offences show a propensity to sexual behaviour where injured parties have been attacked in their own homes,” the detective said, adding that there is also a “risk to the defendant himself, as on December 31, he was the victim of a knife attack.

The detective told the court how a complainant came forward on December 30 to report how the teenager had been socialising at her home when she went to bed. She awoke some time later and allegedly found him on top of her, raping her.

She pushed him away but he “crawled back up and bit her inner thigh, causing bruising”, and police said photographs were taken of the bruising when the alleged victim was medically and forensically examined.

Before the teenager was arrested, he was caused “significant injury during what was believed to be a reprisal attack and we would have concerns there may be further reprisal attacks on him”, the detective said.

While he was in custody, two further complainants came forward to claim that he had also attacked them in their homes .

In relation to the alleged attack on December 20, police said the defendant and complainant had been having sex when she asked him to stop, but “he continued to have sex with her against her will”.

The detective told the court that, regarding the alleged offence in September 2021, the complainant had been exchanging social media messages with the defendant when he turned up uninvited to her house and was “reluctantly” allowed in.

He supposedly groped and “writhed against her sexually”, with the complainant pushing him off. However, he then “pinned her to the wall, holding her wrists and neck”.

“She told him to stop but he didn’t stop until he got a phone call,” police said.

Under cross-examination from defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram, the detective agreed that the defendant had “answered each and every question” put to him during interviews, claiming all sexual contact had been consensual.

He submitted that due to his age, clear record, a proposed bail address, and with the case facing significant delays as the defendant’s mobile phone is examined, he should be granted bail.

Despite this, District Judge Anne Marshall said she was satisfied that there’s a risk of further offences.

The accused was remanded into custody and the case adjourned to January 31.

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