Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man accused of raping teen in Spanish hotel room

Michael Cregan leaving Derry Crown Court
Michael Cregan leaving Derry Crown Court

By George Jackson

In the first prosecution of its kind in Northern Ireland, a man has gone in trial in Londonderry charged with raping a teenage girl in a Spanish hotel.

Michael Joseph Cregan (35) is on trial at the Crown Court in Derry charged with raping the 17-year-old in the summer of 2014.

The complainant in the case also comes from Derry.

The prosecuting barrister in the case, John Orr QC, told the jurors that the case was unusual in that it was an extra-territorial case brought under Article 76 of the 2008 Sexual Offences Order.

This allows for offences which allegedly occur outside of the UK to be brought before a court in the UK.

The defendant, from Ferguson Street in Derry, denies raping the complainant in a bedroom which they shared with two other people in the Hotel Los Alamos, at Torremolinos near Malaga in Spain, between July 31 and August 20 of 2014.

Mr Orr told the jury that a party of six, all of them from Derry, had gone on holiday together and were staying at the Hotel Los Alamos.

The party of six included the complainant and the defendant, the complainant's sister and her sister's then partner, the complainant's father and a male family friend.

The complainant's father and his male friend shared one apartment. A second apartment was shared by the defendant, the complainant, the complainant's sister and her then partner.

It had three single beds. The complainant slept in one of them and her sister, her sister's then partner and the defendant pushed the other two beds together and slept in them.

Mr Orr told the seven men and five women on the jury that there were no photographs of the hotel because since this incident allegedly occurred, the owner was declared bankrupt "and the hotel is now like a building site".

The prosecutor said that in June 2016, two years after the group had gone on holiday, the complainant attended her sister's 30th birthday party.

One of the guests at the party was the defendant. "When she saw him that brought things back and she decided to go to the police," Mr Orr said.

The prosecutor said like many summer holidays in the sun, this holiday involved the consumption of alcohol.

He said the group, having spent the second last day of the holiday by the hotel pool, went out drinking.

"She became shaky on her feet and was brought back to the hotel by the defendant," he told the court.

"She remembers waking up in bed after a short time and the defendant was on top of her, seriously sexually assaulting her", the jurors heard.

The trial continues.

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