Belfast Telegraph

Rape accused fears dissident death threat, court told

By George Jackson

A man charged with raping two women is under a death threat from dissident republican paramilitaries in Londonderry, the city's magistrates court heard.

Solicitor Paddy MacDermott told District Judge Barney McElholm that the 27-year-old Derry man, who has been living outside of the city for the last three years, has received a threat to his life warning that if he returns "he will be shot dead".

Mr MacDermott said that the defendant, who cannot be named, was also the victim of a so-called punishment shooting nine years ago.

The court heard that the defendant is charged with raping and indecently assaulting two women between July 2004 and July 2009.

The defence solicitor said he was applying to have the defendant's preliminary inquiry appearance held in a court outside of the city because of the threat against his client.

Mr McElholm said given the circumstances he had no option but to grant the application.

"I would not ask this defendant to come here if there is a threat of that magnitude," he said.

The case was adjourned to another court area on July 3.

Belfast Telegraph

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