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Woman killed herself two days after being raped, court hears

A Belfast man has been refused bail on a charge of raping a 41-year-old woman who killed herself two days after the alleged attack.

The 35-year-old accused cannot be named after a judge at an earlier hearing imposed a ban on his identity being revealed because he is under a death threat.

A PSNI detective yesterday told Belfast Magistrates Court that the woman's body was found by her 13-year-old son on June 17.

He said the victim had confided in an ex-partner that she had been subjected to an horrific and prolonged rape two days earlier.

The detective added that her ex-partner advised her to report the rape to police.

However she didn't because she thought her attacker had paramilitary connections.

But she did go to a pharmacist and he, too, urged her to report the attack to the PSNI.

Shortly afterwards, the woman took her own life.

The accused told police he met the woman in the Great Eastern Bar in Belfast and claimed they had consensual sex after going to a house party.

The detective said the defendant had been on bail on a drugs charge at the time.

He told the court he objected to bail on the rape charge because he said police feared the defendant would interfere with witnesses, or leave Northern Ireland for a different jurisdiction.

The witness confirmed that the PSNI passed on a death threat on June 19 to the accused which he said "had come from the community".

He revealed that two co-accused had been granted bail.

But he added that the defendant had "strong criminal associations in east Belfast".

Defence lawyer Michael Boyd said the accused claimed the woman instigated the sexual intercourse after meeting him in the bar. He told the court that the case was based on hearsay evidence from the woman's former partner and from a pharmacist.

In relation to the drugs case, Mr Boyd said a man had made a statement in which he said he was a police agent and had been instructed to entice the accused to an address where the drugs were found.

District Judge Des Perry refused to grant the defendant bail and remanded him in custody until August 23.

Belfast Telegraph