Belfast Telegraph

Torture pair who held victim at knifepoint, bound and raped facing 15 years' jail

Victim (17) held at knifepoint, locked in cupboard, bound and raped

By Ashleigh McDonald

Two men who tortured and sexually assaulted a friend have been warned they could be jailed for up to 15 years.

Darren Fu (19), from Belfast, and a co-accused from Co Antrim who cannot be named because of a reporting restriction, attacked the then 17-year-old at a flat in the Stranmillis area of Belfast in May 2014.

Belfast Crown Court was told the pair subjected the youth to "exceptional degradation", threatening him at knifepoint, locking him in a cupboard and sexually assaulting and putting cigarettes out on him.

The attack was launched when the victim went to Fu's flat. He claimed he was already worried for his safety because he felt he had been pressured into selling drugs for the defendant and had not sold enough.

When he entered the property, he was thrown onto the sofa, forced to kneel at knifepoint, bound and locked inside a cupboard. He later had a pillowcase placed over his head and was subjected to serious sexual assaults.

The court was told that drugs played a significant role in the incident, with all parties consuming them after the attack. A lawyer said: "After the offending, Fu left the flat saying he was going to buy more drugs. At some stage prior to leaving, he gave the injured party six bags of drugs and told him they needed to be sold. The injured party still had the drugs when he went to police the following day."

When officers searched Fu's flat, they found the victim's blood in the cupboard and on the bedroom walls. They also found implements used to sexually assault him and leads used to tie him up.

After the youth who cannot be named was arrested, he said Fu had threatened to stab him if he did not attack the victim - a claim not accepted by the Crown.

Fu, the court heard, never returned to his flat and handed himself in to police in Edinburgh in June. He was brought back to Northern Ireland and bailed, before failing to answer bail, after which he was arrested in Kent.

He later admitted four offences - false imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault, and rape. His co-accused pleaded guilty to six counts including false imprisonment, sexual assault and attempted rape.

Gavan Duffy QC, representing the youth, said his client had Asperger's syndrome, had been pressured into the act by Fu and had no history of sexual offending.

David McDowell, for Fu, said that while his client could not remember what happened, he had admitted four offences and spared his victim the trauma of a trial. Mr McDowell also said that Fu - who had a "traumatic upbringing" - had been in prison for the past 18 months and had "passed all drugs tests asked of him."

After listening to submissions, Judge Kerr said he wanted to reserve judgment, adding that he would sentence Fu and his co-accused on February 22.

During the hearing, the judge said the offences committed could attract a potential sentence of 15 years. Both defendants were remanded in custody.

Belfast Telegraph


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