Belfast Telegraph

Student accused of raping woman 'thanked her afterwards,' court hears

By Alan Erwin

A student accused of raping a woman in Belfast city centre allegedly thanked her afterwards, the High Coury has heard.

The woman also claims Marko Dolhir offered to pay her at some point during their encounter in the Little May Street area, a judge was told.

Details emerged as the 19-year-old Iranian national was granted bail on Friday.

Dolhir, with an address at Sandringham Drive in Leeds, denies charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault over the incident on November 25.

He insist any contact with the woman was consensual.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay said the woman told police she met Dolhir after leaving a city centre bar where she had been drinking with friends.

It was claimed that when she asked for directions he started walking with her, pushed her against railings and repeatedly tried to kiss her.

The alleged sexual assault then occurred, the court heard.

Referring to the woman's account, Mrs McKay said: "He stopped what he was doing, said thank you and walked away.

"She thinks at some point he offered to pay her, but she wasn't sure when."

Dolhir was arrested a week later in Leeds after CCTV footage established his identity, according to the prosecution.

DNA evidence allegedly links him to the complainant.

During interviews he claimed to have been in Belfast for a driving theory test.

He told police he was out with friends on the night of the alleged assault, but became separated and was approached by the woman while he searched for a lost card.

The court heard Dolhir said he asked if she was "working", to which she replied no.

He claimed the woman consensually undid his belt and pulled his trousers down before there was mutual touching between them.

But he also alleged that he then pushed her forward and said "I don't want" because he had no condoms.

Mrs McKay added: "He said they kissed each other again, both said thank you and then he left."

Mr Justice Horner was told the accused came to the United Kingdom as an unaccompanied child a number of years ago.

He is currently a student living in supervised care accommodation in Leeds.

Defence counsel Sean O'Hare claimed there were inconsistencies in the alleged victim's interview.

Granting bail, the judge ordered Dolhir to abide by any instructions from his supervisors and report to police daily.

He also banned him from any attempt to contact the complainant.

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