Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Rapist is to be detained in hospital indefinitely

A judge has ordered a sex offender who kidnapped a girl off the street to be detained in hospital indefinitely.

Having heard and read evidence from numerous doctors and psychiatrists about the severe mental impairment and social functioning suffered by 22-year-old Christopher Steele, Belfast Crown Court Judge Corinne Philpott QC imposed the indefinite hospital order.

She had been told by medical experts that their opinion was that Steele's condition was such that he needs “ongoing support, supervision and therapeutic input” and that an indefinite order was required because of the risk he posed.

Previously, Judge Philpott had found Steele, from Donnybrook Street in south Belfast, unfit to stand trial by reason of the medical evidence and a jury had found that he had committed the acts as alleged — namely rape, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

They heard that on June 24, 2010, Steele's 23-year-old victim had left her friend’s house when Steele grabbed her and dragged her into his house where he forced her to perform a sex act.

Steele's victim’s ordeal only ended when she managed to persuade him to let her go and she alerted the police.

Steele was linked to the attack when his DNA was found on his victim.

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