Thursday 22 August 2019

Man accused of raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend in Scotland refused bail by Irish High Court

Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh

The High Court has refused to grant bail to a 25-year-old man who is accused of raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend in Scotland.

The Scottish authorities are seeking to have the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, extradited where he will be prosecuted for offences that occurred at an apartment in Glasgow on August 4 last.

It is alleged that the man, an Indian national who had been living illegally in Scotland for several years after his student visa expired, assaulted the woman whom he had previously been seeing, some weeks after they broke up.

It is alleged he repeatedly hit her head, pulled her hair, forcibly removed her clothes, pinned her to a couch and raped her. 

Shortly after the incident the man left Scotland and came to this jurisdiction via Belfast, and has been working as a delivery driver in the Midlands.

The man was arrested on foot of an extradition warrant by the Gardai in Co Meath before Christmas and has been detained in prison since.

He claims to have known nothing about the rape allegations until he was arrested.

He also claims he left Scotland because of difficulties with his ex-girlfriend's family. 

He claims he was threatened with a machete by his ex-girlfriend's brother, and that her family were trying to get money off him for her to play bingo. 

The man, who claims that he is engaged to an Irish mother of two he met on the internet after arrived in Ireland, applied to the High Court in Dublin be released on bail pending the outcome of his extradition hearing, which is scheduled for next month.

The state objected to bail on grounds that the man represented a flight risk.

In his ruling at a sitting of the High Court on Friday Mr Justice Garrett Simons dismissed the man's application for bail on several grounds, including that the evidence that the man gave was inconsistent and hard to follow. 

He said the man had played "fast and loose" with Irish and Scottish immigration laws. He had not registered with the GNIB since entering the state, the Judge also noted.

Another issue of concern was the man's account of where his passport is. He had initially told Gardai he did not have one but had told the court that it was now lost, the Judge said. 

The Judge who had heard evidence from both the man and his fiancé said that their account about the engagement was "incredible". 

The Judge, who noted that the engagement had not been formally registered with the relevant state authorities, remarked that neither the man nor his fiancé could tell the court the exact date they had got engaged, only that it had happened a few weeks after they met online.

The Judge also said the couple, who are residing together at her home, have no plans made when their marriage is to occur.

The evidence from both parties in regards the alleged engagement the Judge added "defied all logic and belief."

In the circumstances, the Judge said the court had no option other than refuse to grant the man bail.

The matter will return before the court in the New Year.

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