Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Six Tyrone men accused of Corfu sex assault return home

Six young men from Co Tyrone have returned home from Corfu after an alleged sex attack which has shocked locals on the holiday island.

The men, all of whom are Irish passport holders, have strenuously denied the allegations that they were involved in the attack on a woman, understood to be aged 18.



None of the men can be identified for legal reasons and are between 19 and 22.



Consular assistance was provided by officials from Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs in the area, due to the men's passports, before they flew back to Northern Ireland.



Typically, nationals contact the government under which their passport was issued when seeking help abroad.



"The department can confirm that we are providing consular assistance to six individuals and their families," said a spokesman.



People in Kavos, where the alleged attack happened, are reported to have been stunned by the events.



There was also widespreadshock in the towns in Tyrone where the young men live, with local people there reluctant to talk about the case.



One friend said the trip had been arranged some time ago and that the boys had gone simply to have "a good time".



The alleged victim is believed to be from the south of England.



She reported to Greek police that she went back to her hotel room with one of the men on last Saturday night.



It is claimed that a short time later five of the man's friends arrived and she was then subjected to a sex attack.



The woman is being assisted by the British consulate in Corfu. Initial charges have been laid under the Greek court system but no date for a court appearance has been set.



Four of the men were released on bail of £1,000 (€1,268) and two were released without charge.



DUP councillor Sammy Brush said the reports had shocked people in the county.



"Like most people I'm completely in the dark about this," he said. "It surprises me and it's not something you expect to hear.



"We often hear about things like this in England and other areas but very rarely out in the country. I'm shocked to hear these reports."



Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGuigan said people should wait until the full facts are known before making any judgement.



"If there is any degree of truth in this then it's shocking," he said.



Situated on the southern tip of Corfu, is a former finishing village which became a clubbers' paradise in the mid-1990s.



Hundreds of young Irish people travel there each year.

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