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Rape accused claims sexual contact was consensual, court hears

By staff reporter

A Co Down man has gone on trial accused of raping a female whilst she was celebrating her cousin's hen night in Cookstown.

The accused does not dispute sexual contact took place but maintains this was consensual.

The prosecution allege the complainant was too intoxicated to give consent and was therefore raped. Jamie Hunter (24) of Rathfriland Road, Dromara, denies committing the offence in the nightclub car park during the early hours of July 5, 2015.

He appeared in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and blue tie. The defence argue sexual activity was consensual, but it is the prosecution case this constitutes rape as the complainant was not fit to give consent due to intoxication.

Opening the case, prosecution counsel Charles McCreanor QC said the complainant accepts being "well and truly drunk" when she met Hunter in the nightclub.

They chatted for about 10 minutes before going outside, where they kissed. Hunter claims the complainant began to undo his belt and he allegedly said: "No, we're too drunk." However, she said, "No, it'll be all right."

According to the prosecution, Hunter told police they lay in the grass and sexual contact took place for around five seconds, but "he had to stop... they were just too drunk".

However, Hunter was also noted to tell police: "She was loving it."

CCTV footage showed the pair leave the club, both appearing unsteady. Around 20 minutes passed before security staff escorted the complainant back indoors, having found her in the car park in a dishevelled state.

Bodycam footage took inside the premises showed staff were concerned by the complainant's ripped clothing and a bleeding graze was visible on her knee. They inquired what had occurred and on learning of sexual contact, asked if this was consensual.

She replied: "He wanted to have sex."

Staff assisted the complainant to a first aid room, where they adjusted her clothing, removed her shoes, wrapped her in a blanket and put flip-flops on her feet. Distressed, she told them: "I'm scared... it wasn't right what he was doing... I told him stop."

The complainant was later medically examined and found to have bruising to her wrist, grazing to her knee and four bruises to her lower back, consistent with fingertips.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC remanded Hunter on continuing bail.

At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

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