Belfast Telegraph

Rapist jailed for 18 years over attack on woman in her home

By Paul Higgins

A Lithuanian man has been jailed for 18 years after he subjected a woman to a shocking catalogue of rape and sexual assault after beating her boyfriend unconscious.

Darius Porcikas (24) was branded a "danger to the public" as Judge Patrick Lynch QC handed down the lengthy sentence at Craigavon Crown Court yesterday.

The judge vowed that the rapist – who hid in a forest for a month while he was being hunted by police – would only be released when it was deemed safe to do so. He will then be subject to an extra three years on supervised licence, he added.

Describing his crimes as "gross and persistent" which involved violence and "deliberate humiliation of the victim", the judge said he had considered a term of discretionary life imprisonment but had concluded that an extended sentence would best protect the public.

Porcikas, with an address at Upper Edward Street in Newry, was convicted of a total of 12 offences including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

During his trial in May, the jury heard how his victim, a Lithuanian woman, was repeatedly raped and beaten during a 12-hour ordeal.

The jury also heard that while Porcikas and a third man not before the court were raping the woman in the living room of her Lurgan flat, her boyfriend was in the next room after the pair beat him unconscious.

Alongside Porcikas in the dock was 23-year-old Vytautas Mikulinas who was convicted on a single charge of causing actual bodily harm to the woman's partner. He walked free from court with a one-year conditional discharge.

Recounting the facts yesterday, Judge Lynch described how the woman's ordeal began in the early hours of July 13, 2011, when the three accused, including the two defendants, were involved in a fight with the woman's now ex-partner outside her flat.

She took him inside but Porcikas and the third man battered the door down and attacked him until he lay unconscious.

"She tried to intervene and threw herself on the recumbent body of her boyfriend but the two attackers just laughed and forced her to leave the room," said the judge, adding that the pair then demanded oral sex "and struck her about the head when she refused to co-operate". She was then raped and sexually assaulted.

The woman, said the judge, fled to a neighbour's flat but later returned fearing that Porcikas would continue to attack her boyfriend.

She was again subjected to a series of rape and sexual assaults.

The ordeal ended after Porcikas told the woman he was "going to take her to the forest to rape her". As she was walking down the street, she managed to get help from a passing couple who called the police.

An ambulance was also called for her partner who had suffered multiple severe injuries which required life-saving surgery.

Having hid in a forest for a month, Porcikas was eventually arrested and was questioned by police, but maintained it was the third man who committed the attacks.

Yesterday, however, Judge Lynch revealed that Porcikas now accepted his guilt. The judge said that the case merited a "penalty of severity well outside the normal range of rape cases".

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