Belfast Telegraph

Alleged 14-year-old rape victim was plied with drugs, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A 14-year-old girl was allegedly plied with drugs and raped after getting into a car in west Belfast, the High Court heard Monday.

She claims to have been made to snort cocaine before being subjecting to sexual assaults during the late-night journey in May.

Police were alerted when the girl made her allegations at school the following morning.

Details emerged as a 29-year-old man accused of carrying out the sex attacks was granted bail.

The defendant, who is said to have received threats, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

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

Prosecution counsel Robin Steer said the girl was out drinking with a 21-year-old woman when a BMW car with three men in it appeared at Norglen Parade in the city.

She claimed to have got in the back seat reluctantly following assurances from her friend that she was in "safe hands".

The accused allegedly gave her a bottle of WKD while another man got her to sniff cocaine off a silver key, the court heard.

According to the girl's account the defendant began kissing her and pulled down her jeans.

He then allegedly carried out a sexual assault, telling her it was "a bit of fun".

At one point she was forced to take more drugs by having them shoved up her nose, it was claimed.

Mr Steer detailed further incidents before the car dropped them off at the accused's home, where a further alleged sexual assault took place.

The schoolgirl was said to have left when she discovered a number of missed calls from family members.

The defendant is charged with three counts of rape, two sexual assaults and a further sexual assault by penetration.

He is also accused of possessing cocaine and administering a substance to the alleged victim with the intention of stupefying or overpowering her to enable sexual activity.

Opposing bail, Mr Steer disclosed that after being charged the accused stated: "Her life is not going to be worth living after this."

The court heard he also phoned a relative and told them: "You go round and burn her f****** house to the ground."

But defence counsel Michael Ward argued they were heat of the moment comments by a man frustrated at the charges against him.

"The allegations are strenuously denied, he gave a full account and this will be vigorously contested at trial," the barrister said.

Mr Ward contended that the complaint portrayed herself as being aged 20 when she got into the car.

"During the journey which lasted about 45 minutes the injured party and (the accused) were kissing in the back of the car with no protestations," he added.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Maguire ordered the defendant to have no contact with the alleged victim and banned him from entering the part of west Belfast where she lives.

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