Friday 23 August 2019

Schoolgirl (14) allegedly raped in car, court told

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A Northern Ireland schoolgirl was allegedly given cocaine and raped in the back of a car, the High Court heard today.

The 14-year-old also claims she was forced to perform a sex act in front of others in the vehicle, a judge was told. Prosecution counsel Kate McKay said: "She said she was resisting, banging on windows and shouting to get out."

A 29-year-old man is accused of carrying out the attacks during a late-night journey in May.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faces charges of rape, sexual assault, possessing cocaine and administering a substance with the intention of stupefying or overpowering the alleged victim.

He is out on bail, but was refused a curfew extension to spend more time with his family.

Lord Justice Stephens also directed that anonymity granted to him is to be reviewed at his next remand hearing in three weeks time.

The man denies the charges against him, claiming the girl told him she was 20 and that all sexual contact was consensual.

An older woman had allegedly persuaded the teenager to get into the car when it appeared at a location in Belfast with three men in it, the court heard.

Once inside she was offered drugs and alcohol, according to the prosecution.

Mrs McKay contended: "She made it clear to all parties that she was aged 14 - a schoolgirl."

It was claimed that the accused began touching her and carried out a sexual assault.

Later, he allegedly raped her and then made her carry out a sex act on him in view of the others.

Police were contacted after the girl spoke to a friend at school the following morning.

The accused was present in court with relatives for his failed attempt to vary bail conditions.

As the application was denied, he shouted out: "I'm an innocent man."

Following similar outbursts from his sister, the judge warned anyone responsible for further outbursts would be arrested.

Questioning why reporting restrictions were in place, he was told police had alerted the defendant to a death threat against him.

Lord Justice Stephens agreed to maintain the anonymity for now, but stressed: "The applicant must set out the exact reasons why the order is being sought."

Belfast Telegraph

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