Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon man Graham Rainey 'threatened to kill online date he accused of being male'

By Tanya Fowles

A man has appeared in court, accused of attacking a woman he met face-to-face for the first time through a social media dating site after accusing her of being a male, brandishing a firearm and threatening to kill her.

In the dock of Dungannon Magistrates Court was Graham Rainey (45) of Ashbeg Grove in the town.

He is charged with threats to kill, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, assault, possessing drugs, and stealing £80. The alleged offences are said to have occurred in his home on July 6.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

He explained that police were called by a friend of the woman, who was too distressed to report the matter herself.

On speaking with her later, she explained she had met Rainey through the online dating site 'Plenty of Fish' and they corresponded for a time beforehand.

They arranged to meet face-to-face and the woman travelled to Rainey's home where, after having food and drink, they had consensual sex, the court heard.

Immediately after this the woman claimed Rainey became irate without warning and told her: "You have 10 seconds to get out of here. You're a man. How dare you."

He made reference to having the injured party shot, the policeman told the court. Rainey then allegedly rifled through her handbag, and when she tried to take it from him he slapped her face.

The woman quickly got dressed and, as she prepared to leave, observed Rainey in another room holding a handgun, along with her purse and phone.

Terrified, she fled from the scene and drove to a friend's home in Belfast, who alerted police, the court heard.

Rainey was arrested and a search was conducted of his property. No firearm was found but a quantity of cannabis was recovered, which he accepted was for his own use.

During interview he said he had met the injured party on the dating website.

Their first meeting was at Rainey's home, but after they had sex he went to another room to have a cigarette where he had "a gut feeling something wasn't right".

He told the woman to leave, claiming she appeared "surprised and a little disappointed" by this.

In relation to the alleged injured party's purse and mobile phone, Rainey claimed she left them in her haste to get away.

He said he posted them to her home first thing the next morning, providing police with a receipt for this.

The officer opposed bail due to a concern there was a high likelihood of reoffending, alongside the defendant's substantial history of abuse against numerous partners.

In addition, the officer said Rainey was previously arrested following an incident with a person he met through the same website. While this matter was committed for trial, it was withdrawn at Newry Crown Court on June 8, but Rainey was made subject to a Binding Over Order.

Counsel for Rainey argued that bail could be granted as the charges were firmly denied, stating: "My client can't understand why the allegations have been made other than he indicated he didn't want a further relationship."

District Judge John Meehan granted bail but with strict conditions attached.

Rainey was ordered to reside at his home address and no other, to refrain from any contact by any means with the alleged injured party, report weekly to police, and abide by a curfew from 10pm to 7am.

The judge also banned Rainey from accessing any social media platforms including 'Plenty of Fish' or any other online dating sites.

The case is due back in court next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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