Convicted rapist who 'didn't know Northern Ireland was in UK' jailed
A convicted rapist who breached a deportation order to live in Belfast without informing the authorities has been jailed for two months.
Romanian national Nicusor Bratu claimed he was unaware Northern Ireland forms part of the United Kingdom.
The 47-year-old is believed to have been unlawfully staying in Belfast for more than a year before his arrest on Wednesday.
He admitted illegal entry to the UK and failing to comply with notification requirements.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard on Thursday he has a conviction for a rape in Romania around 20 years ago.
When he came to the UK in 2017 he became subject to a requirement to inform police of any change of address within three days.
An order was then made for his deportation.
But Bratu returned to Northern Ireland around July 2018, a judge was told.
He lived and worked in Belfast from that point on, failing to register any address with police.
Joel Lyndsay, defending, submitted: "He is simply saying that he didn't think Northern Ireland was part of the UK, he thought it was just Ireland."
Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop imposed a total of two months imprisonment for the offences.
Bratu is expected to be deported again following his release from jail.
Belfast Telegraph Digital