Sunday 25 February 2018

Face of man accused of raping teenage boy in city park

Gerard Scannell
Gerard Scannell

Ashleigh McDonald

A man arrested over the rape of a 16-year-old boy in a west Belfast park last weekend appeared in court yesterday.

Gerard Scannell (39), from Ballymurphy Road in the city, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with three counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

After the four charges were put to the defendant, a PSNI detective constable said he believed he could connect the accused to the incident.

Defence barrister Mark Farrell told District Judge Fiona Bagnall his client had "co-operated fully with the police investigation" since being arrested.

He also stressed that Scannell had consistently and strenuously denied the allegations.

Mr Farrell additionally told the court that, at this stage, he was not in a position to make an application for bail.

However, he asked that the case be listed again next week for the purpose of fixing a date for a bail application.

But a Public Prosecution Service representative said any move to secure release "would be strongly objected to".

As Scannell was being led back to jail after being remanded in custody, four people sat in the public gallery, just yards from the dock, shouted abuse at him.

The teenage victim in the case was attacked in Falls Park in west Belfast in the early hours of last Saturday.

Belfast Telegraph

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