Belfast Telegraph

Judge shocked by wounds inflicted on alleged rape victim

By Alan Erwin

Injuries inflicted on an alleged rape victim found unconscious in a blood-soaked bedroom "send a shiver up the spine", a High Court judge has said.

Mr Justice Maguire heard graphic details of wounds that prosecutors claim the 23-year-old woman suffered during a sex attack at a house in Londonderry.

A bloodied claw-hammer was said to have been within a foot of where police located her.

Details emerged as bail was refused to the man accused of carrying out the assault on October 3.

Aaron Hyland, a 20-year-old from Cranbrook Court in Belfast, denies charges of rape, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon with intent, and threatening to kill and assaulting a police officer.

Amid opposition to his bid to be released, a prosecuting lawyer said the defendant has been warned he is under threat.

According to PSNI intelligence, paramilitaries and others in Derry would love him to get bail as they are "baying for his blood".

The alleged victim was discovered upstairs in the house after Hyland phoned the ambulance service, the court heard.

According to Conor Gillespie, prosecuting, the bed and floor were covered in blood, with a further trail along the landing and into the bathroom.

"It would appear this female was dragged along the floor into the bath and there were attempts made to wash her," he said.

Although Hyland claimed sexual contact was consensual, Mr Gillespie said police dispute his description of what happened as it could not account for the injuries sustained.

The court heard that after being arrested Hyland tried to strike out at an officer and demanded to know his name.

He allegedly said: "Tell me because I will get Colin Duffy around to see you. You will be getting the knock on your door some night you b******, tick, tick, boom, boom."

During questioning he claimed to have helped the woman into the bath after she started to bleed.

In a prepared statement Hyland said he went back to a house with her after she flirted with him during an all-day drink and drug-taking session.

He alleged in a prepared statement that the woman went limp as she was getting washed.

At that stage he phoned a girlfriend who advised him to put her in the recovery position and phone for an ambulance, Hyland claimed.

Mr Justice Maguire said his refusal of bail was not based on any risk to Hyland's personal safety.

Instead, he ordered him to remain in custody due to fears he may re-offend or flee.

The judge also stressed that Hyland faces charges of "the most serious variety".

"The outline which the Crown gave to the court of the nature of the injuries which resulted to the injured party in this case are in many ways such as to send a shiver up one's spine," he said.

"This is a particularly graphic case, and it can be anticipated if he were to be found guilty of these offences they are likely to attract a significant prison term."

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