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Gang rape trio who ruined victim's life laugh as they're jailed

By Paul Higgins

Three self-confessed sexual predators who ruined a student's life by plotting her rape laughed and smiled in the dock yesterday as they were jailed.

Craigavon Crown Court Judge Donna McColgan QC jailed Florin Cirpaci (36) and Ioan Lacatus (27) for 33 months, and Aurel Teglas (23) for 30 months.

But because of time spent on remand, Teglas will be released today, and his accomplices in the next month.

As the judge told the trio they would spend the same time on licence, the three Romanian nationals - all with addresses in Portadown - laughed with each other and three other men sitting a few feet away in the public gallery.

Judge McColgan revealed their victim had dropped out of university, had made "two serious attempts" at taking her own life, suffered from anorexia and severe depression, was at one stage sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and had a "promising career stolen from her".

The judge ordered all three to sign the sex offenders register for an indefinite period, but declined to make a Sexual Offences Prevention Order having heard that, once freed, the trio are highly likely to be deported.

Last October Cirpaci, from North Street, and Teglas and Lacatus, both from Corcrain Drive, pleaded guilty to conspiring together and with a man called Florin Muntean that "one or more" of them would rape their victim on August 25, 2014.

Judge McColgan recounted how the then 22-year-old student met the defendants at Bar 2 in Portadown, with CCTV showing her dancing and chatting with Lacatus.

Footage showed her leaving the bar with Lacatus, who was "supporting her to some degree", and "followed closely" by Teglas, Cirpaci and Muntean.

The five drove to a house at Drummard Avenue where the woman was raped by two of the men while "blanking in and out of consciousness".

Officers searched the house three days later, but Muntean fled Northern Ireland a short time later.

The registered tenant of the house is also understood to have left the jurisdiction.

During police questioning all three changed their accounts "many, many times".

But they eventually pleaded guilty just before their trial was due to start.

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