Friday 27 April 2018

Men who tortured and raped teen male friend in brutal sex attack jailed

Aodhan Woods leaves court with mum and dad Janice and Sean
Aodhan Woods leaves court with mum and dad Janice and Sean

Ashleigh McDonald

Two men who tortured and sexually assaulted a friend in an "appalling and brutal" attack have been jailed and placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

Sentencing Darren Fu to 11 years and a co-accused to six years, Judge Gordon Kerr spoke of the humiliation and degradation meted out to Aodhan Woods, who was just 17 at the time.

Fu (20) and his co-accused, who was 17 at the time of the offence and cannot be named because of reporting restrictions, appeared in Belfast Crown Court where they were sentenced for a litany of offences.

The court heard how the duo subjected Mr Woods to "exceptional degradation" at a flat in the Stranmillis area of Belfast during which he was tied up, threatened at knifepoint, locked in a cupboard, subjected to several serious sexual assaults, and had cigarettes stubbed out on him.

Two weapons were used during the sexual assaults - a drumstick and a microphone stand - and at one stage the victim believed photographs were being taken of his torture.

Threats were issued that if he told anyone what had happened, the pictures would be released.

Darren Fu
Darren Fu

The court heard drugs played a "significant role" in the incident.

Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC branded Fu and the co-accused's actions as "sadistic" and said: "It is hard to imagine the terror and feelings of helplessness he (Mr Woods) must have felt during this horrifying ordeal."

The sexual assault occurred on May 30, 2014, when Mr Woods called to Fu's flat.

At a previous hearing, the court was told that Mr Woods had been told by his friend Fu to sell some mephedrone, and he was worried before entering the flat because he had not sold enough.

Mr Woods was attacked and threatened with rape, and at one point had a pillowcase placed over his head. Pointing out that at the time Mr Woods was "legally a child" who was subjected to a "prolonged period of violence", Judge Kerr spoke of the effect the incident has had on the young man. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of what happened.

When he finally managed to leave the flat, Mr Woods went home and told his mother. The police were then informed.

Regarding Fu, Judge Kerr said he had since made the case that he cannot remember what happened as the incident took place at a time when he was taking drugs excessively and was not in control of himself.

He subsequently described what happened to a probation officer as "mental madness", and pleaded guilty to four charges - namely false imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault, and rape.

Fu was handed an 11-year sentence, half of which will be spent in custody, with the remainder on licence upon his release. He was also placed on the sex offenders' Register for life.

His co-accused - who made the case that he felt threatened by Fu and was scared of what would happen if he didn't do as he was ordered - admitted six counts including false imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault and attempted rape.

He was handed a six-year sentence, half of which will be spent in custody with the remaining three years on licence when he is released. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

Belfast Telegraph

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