Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist community worker accused of raping woman who later took her life has his charges dropped

By Alan Erwin

A loyalist community worker accused of raping a woman who later took her own life has had the charge against him withdrawn, it emerged today.

The decision to bring an end to current criminal proceedings against David McConnell was made on a without prejudice basis.

It means the case could still be brought back to court at a later stage.

McConnell, 35, with an address at Victoria Road in the Sydenham area of east Belfast, had been charged with carrying out a rape in the city last June.

The alleged victim took her own life days later, police told a court hearing.

McConnell was at first granted anonymity amid death threats from loyalist paramilitaries.

Reporting restrictions were later lifted on the basis that those intent on harming him already know his identity.

At one stage he was permitted to stay at an alternative address while out on bail due to the threat against him.

It has now been confirmed, however, that he is currently no longer facing criminal proceedings over the alleged rape.

The charge was withdrawn at Belfast Magistrates' Court last week.

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