Belfast Telegraph

Jury told how club encounter led to a terrifying rape ordeal

A woman who accepted a lift from a man she met in a club was seriously sexually assaulted by the driver in the car, a jury has heard.

Belfast Crown Court heard that when the woman fled from Nahab Toufik's car, she did not know where she was and had to knock on a stranger's door to summon help in the early hours of July 31 last year.

Toufik (39) — an Algerian national with an address on the South Circular Road in Dublin — is accused of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one of false imprisonment.

Opening the Crown case to the jury of six men and six women, prosecuting QC Richard Weir told them how the 33-year-old woman and her friend had gone to Ollie's nightclub in Belfast city centre. The alleged victim was left on her own after her friend departed with a man she had met.

At one stage during the evening, said the lawyer, Toufik spoke to the complainant and claimed that he knew her.

Later he found her in a tearful state after her friend left, and offered her a lift to meet her mother, which she accepted.

However, the Algerian instead drove to a quiet spot just off Regent Street in the Peter's Hill area of north Belfast. It was here that he allegedly launched his sex attack, despite the woman repeatedly asking to be taken to meet her mother.

Mr Weir described to the jury how Toufik allegedly “pulled her down by the neck” and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

“She was crying and squealing and she went to bite him,” said the lawyer,” but he pulled her by the hair and told her that she was his dirty b****”.

Screaming and scraping at the door to get out, the woman found the car doors were locked and Toufik reached over and reclined her seat, pushing her down onto it as she “continued to struggle”. The terrified woman wet herself, but Toufik then raped the 33-year-old despite her attempts to stop him, the court heard.

When Toufik was finished, said Mr Weir, he pushed her down again and touched her private parts before performing a sex act on her as she “struck out at him”.

Later, Toufik tried to start the car but it “conked out” and trying her door again, his alleged victim managed to scramble out but had no idea where she was.

As her alleged attacker shouted at her to get back into the car, she fled and eventually found help.

When the alleged attack was reported to the police, the woman was examined by a doctor.

Mr Weir told the jury that when intimate swabs were forensically examined, a partial DNA profile matching that of Toufik's was uncovered.

The Algerian was arrested two months later on September 30 as he sat outside the Fitzwilliam Hotel in his MG estate car.

The lawyer said when the car was forensically examined, scientists found a chemical which is a constituent part of urine. During police questioning, Toufik admitted the woman had been in the car and there had been sexual contact.

However Mr Weir added that, “essentially what he was alleging was that the sexual contact had been consensual and that she was a willing participant”.

He declared, however, that once the jury had heard the evidence, “you will be satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offences”.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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