Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Rape accused bailed after ‘faults’ in tag

An 18-year-old man accused of raping a girl aged 15 was re-admitted to bail yesterday due to suspected faults in electronic equipment used to monitor him.

A judge ordered Marcus McMullan to be released again under tight conditions and urged proper testing of any new system installed at his home.

McMullan, of Wynchurch Park, Belfast, was also banned from associating with any girls under 18 other than family members.

He faces charges of rape and sexual assault over an alleged incident in September.

McMullan was granted High Court bail last week with electronic tagging and a night-time curfew imposed on him. But he was returned to Belfast Magistrates Court after the monitoring system appeared to detect suspected incidents where he had left home after hours.

A police officer reported a number of incidents in the early hours of December 27 where, according to the monitoring system, McMullan went out for a matter of minutes and returned again. But relatives of the accused gave evidence that he was at home at all times.

A defence lawyer argued no breach had been proven, and that there was reason to believe the equipment was not functioning properly.

District Judge George Conner ruled that he was prepared to “give the defendant the benefit of the doubt”.

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