Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man McVeigh (28) accused of raping 'highly intoxicated' 14-year-old girl

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man has appeared in court accused of raping a "highly intoxicated" 14-year-old girl.

Belfast Crown Court was told that the man told police he thought she was 19 and that the sex was consensual.

William George McVeigh is on trial accused of raping the teenager in a north Belfast park.

The 28-year-old is also facing two 'alternative' charges, namely sexual activity with a child and sexual assault. McVeigh, from Forthriver Green in the Ballygomartin area of Belfast, has denied all offences.

A jury was shown CCTV footage taken along the Shankill Road during the early hours of Saturday, October 31, 2015.

It is the Crown's case that it shows the girl in the company of McVeigh, so drunk she can barely stand up and falling twice in front of him. The girl, now 16, admitted she was drinking prior to the incident, and can barely remember events. She'd been at a party in a bar with friends on October 30, and left just after midnight with a female friend.

The two teenagers were captured on CCTV walking down the Shankill Road towards Lanark Way. They became separated and within minutes the girl was captured on the same CCTV camera walking back up the Shankill Road, this time in McVeigh's company. A prosecuting barrister said it was the Crown's case that after meeting McVeigh at a Chinese takeaway, the pair walked along the Shankill Road before entering Woodvale Park.

When the girl arrived home at around 3.30am, she woke her mother up, who noticed the teenager's clothes were wet and muddy. She also noticed scrapes on her daughter's legs.

The teenager fell asleep, but at 8am she was woken by her mother who wanted to know what had happened. When the girl noticed her pants were on the wrong way round and she felt tenderness to her genital area, her mother called the police.

When she spoke to police a few days later, the teenager said she had little recollection of what happened due to her alcohol intake, but she recalled being in the park with an older man she had met at the Chinese takeaway. She also said that at one stage, she thought she was on the grass in the park.

The girl's mobile phone and handbag were later found in the park by members of the public.

The prosecutor said she was "highly intoxicated", and "flopping around like a rag doll when she was trying to walk down the street" with McVeigh.

This level of intoxication, the prosecutor said, meant the girl was in no fit state to consent to anything - something McVeigh would have been aware of.

McVeigh was arrested on November 20, 2015, and initially claimed to know nothing about the incident, saying he was at home at the time. However, he changed his story in later interviews. After admitting meeting the girl on the street, he claimed she instigated any sexual activity between them. At one stage, he said she dragged him into an alley as she was "horny" and was "pulling all the moves" on him.

Asked by police "what age did you put her at?" McVeigh replied: "I think she said she was 19."

He told officers that despite not knowing her name, the girl "told me she was 19, she told me her date of birth. S he didn't look 14". McVeigh also said penetration had taken place, but made the case that it was consensual.

At hearing.

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