Belfast Telegraph

Rape accused had given his victim |lift, court is told

By Paul Higgins

An Algerian man who offered a tearful woman a lift to meet her mother after a friend left her alone at a nightclub then raped the 33-year-old in his car, a court has been told.

A jury also heard that when the woman fled from Nahab Toufik's car, she did not know where she was and had to knock on a stranger's door to summon help in the early hours of July 31 last year.

Toufik is on trial accused of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one of false imprisonment.

The woman and her friend had gone to Olly's nightclub in Belfast city centre but the alleged victim had been left alone when her friend left with a man she met, prosecuting QC Philip Mateer told the Belfast Crown Court jury.

At one stage during the evening, said the lawyer, 39-year-old Toufik spoke to her and claimed that he knew her. Later, after her friend had gone, Toufik offered her a lift to meet her mother.

But instead the Algerian drove them to a quiet spot just off Regent Street in the Peter's Hill area of Belfast. Despite the woman repeatedly asking to be taken to her mother, Toufik allegedly launched his sex attack, the lawyer said.

Mr Mateer described how Toufik — from the South Circular Road in Dublin — pulled his alleged victim down and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Screaming and scraping at the door to get out, the terrified woman found the car doors were locked. Toufik reached over and reclined her seat, pushing her down on to it as she continued to struggle, wetting herself before Toufik allegedly raped her.

Toufik tried to start the car but it stalled, the court heard. Trying her door again, his alleged victim managed to scramble out — but had no idea where she was.

The woman fled and found a house with a light still on where she managed to summon help.

When the alleged attack was reported to the police, the woman was examined by a doctor.

Mr Mateer told the jury how, when swabs were examined, a partial DNA profile matching Toufik's was uncovered.

He was arrested two months later outside the Fitzwilliam Hotel in his MG estate car.

The lawyer said when the car was forensically examined, scientists found a chemical which is a constituent part of urine.

During police questioning, Toufik admitted the woman had been in car and that there had been sexual contact. However, he suggested it had been consensual.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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