Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of raping woman 'can stay at new address amid death threats'

A Belfast man accused of raping a woman who later committed suicide can stay at an alternative address amid new death threats, a judge ruled today.

David McConnell was granted permission to vary his bail arrangements after the High Court heard how his life could be in danger.

A sympathy card was delivered to his home and a further threat message was delivered through the Samaritans.

McConnell, 35, of Victoria Road, Sydenham, is charged with raping a woman in the city on June 15.

The alleged victim took her own life days later, police told a previous court hearing.

McConnell was at first granted anonymity due to an earlier threat from loyalist paramilitaries.

But reporting restrictions were lifted two weeks ago on the basis that those intent on harming him already know his identity.

His lawyers returned to the High Court seeking an amendment to his bail terms which would allow him to stay at another, undisclosed location when necessary.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd confirmed: "There were a number of threats to his life and an alternative address is being sought."

Mr Justice Weir agreed to the variation on the condition that McConnell informs police in advance of any night he plans to spend at the new location.

The accused will remain under curfew and electronic monitoring, with the court told his movements can be tracked at both addresses.

Mr Boyd added: "Hopefully that will help the applicant deal with the problem that he faces."

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