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Man charged with raping teen boy in Belfast park drops bid to be bailed outside Northern Ireland, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 04/08/2016

The man is alleged to have attacked the 16-year-old boy in the Falls Park area in the early hours of July 16.
The man is alleged to have attacked the 16-year-old boy in the Falls Park area in the early hours of July 16.

A man charged with raping a teenage boy in west Belfast has dropped a bid to be bailed to an address outside Northern Ireland, a court heard today.

Lawyers for Gerard Scannell, 39, are now set to explore alternative options within the jurisdiction as they attempt to secure his release from custody.

Scannell, from Ballymurphy Road in the city, is accused of three counts of rape and a further offence of sexual assault.

He is alleged to have attacked the 16-year-old boy in the Falls Park area in the early hours of July 16.

 Scannell, who was remanded in custody two weeks ago, appeared again at Belfast Magistrates' Court by video-link from Maghaberry Prison.

 Defence barrister Mark Farrell revealed he was unable to proceed with a planned bail application.

 "The original address proposed was outside the jurisdiction and that was deemed unacceptable by the prosecution service," he said.

 "We are now on the hunt for an address inside the jurisdiction." Mr Farrell acknowledged bail will be opposed wherever Scannell seeks to live.

 In a general reference to the case, he added: "There's a complicated background to it."

 A prosecution lawyer raised no objection to the application being adjourned. Deputy District Judge Joe Rice agreed to put proceedings back to later in the month.

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