Belfast Telegraph

Rape victims urged to come forward

By Rebecca Petticrew

A local pastor and community leader is urging victims of sexual assault to come forward following the conviction of Bangor rapist Brian Davey.

Father-of-one Davey (22), of Linneybrook Cottages, was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault, including two of rape, and one count of theft at Belfast Crown Court on September 6.

The jury heard that Davey invited himself to his victim's home and repeatedly made advances to her, which she rejected.

The woman fell asleep and awoke later to find Davey carrying out the first of five sexual assaults.

Police were alerted and Davey's description was circulated. He was arrested a short while after leaving his victim's house.

The victim's stolen silver watch was found in Davey's pocket when he was searched by police.

Giving evidence on his own behalf, Davey said his victim had instigated sex and consented at all times.

The jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all six charges and Davey was remanded into custody. He will be sentenced next month following the completion of pre-sentence probation reports.

Pastor Mark Gordon, community development manager at Kilcooley Community Forum and co-pastor of Shiloh Christian Fellowship in Lisnabreen, Bangor, said he has been led to believe there could be "quite a number of victims" of the Bangor man.

"Over recent years I have had to counsel some people who allege that they have been victims of this man and some of them did go to police, others refused to go to the police.

"I couldn't breach the confidence of people that I had counselled or their family members but his name was coming in time and time again."

Pastor Gordon said local people are angry that police didn't act sooner to stop the man after concerns were first raised "a minimum of six years ago".

"I personally was one of the people who met with high-ranking police officers to highlight our concerns. What they were telling us is that if we didn't stop doing what we were doing they would arrest us.

"We hadn't named the person, we knew not to do that because obviously it would jeopardise any future court cases, but we were highlighting very clearly the number of cases that we believed this person was responsible for.

"We are asking now, in light of the fact that he has been convicted, that people come forward and go to the police and make their case known," he added.

A Facebook page called Stop Rapes in Northern Ireland, which aims to "promote rape and sexual assault awareness and inform the public of rapists living in the area", is also publicising the case in a bid to encourage any victims of Davey to come forward.

A PSNI spokesperson said police are unable to comment as Davey has not been sentenced yet.

They said as with any crime, police would appeal to anyone with information to contact police on 0845 600 8000 the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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