Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Boy accused of park rape was out on bail at time, court is told

A 14-year-old boy accused of raping a German student in a Belfast park was out on bail at the time, the High Court heard yesterday.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is under 18, had been freed on charges of assault and criminal damage at a juvenile remand centre.

Yesterday he applied for bail on charges of rape and attempted rape of the 19-year-old gap year student who was sexually attacked and robbed at Woodvale Park last December.

A co-accused, also aged 14, is in custody and has not applied for bail.

Objecting to the boy's release, Crown counsel Kate McKay told the court: "He is a dangerous young man who is a danger to the public and should remain in custody because of the risk of re-offending."

The lawyer alleged that while one of the defendants was sexually assaulting the girl the other accused was stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

Ms McKay said the girl was also punched in the stomach and kicked in the face and was warned that if she told anyone what happened they "would come and shoot her".

The girl's ordeal ended when the defendants began arguing and she ran out of the park. She attracted the attention of a postman who took her to a nearby house before calling an ambulance.

Ms McKay said the boy admitted to police that he was involved in the incident but denied attacking the girl and said his co-accused was the rapist.

Defence counsel Barry Gibson told the court there was no forensic evidence linking the boy to the attack and he had not been picked out at an identification process.

Lord Justice Girvan said the boy represented a danger to the public and refused bail.

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