A teenager accused of multiple rapes and an attempted rape was left with “significant facial injuries” following a “reprisal attack”, a court has heard.
The 17-year-old male was refused bail today due to an alleged “propensity to predatory behaviour” and through fear of further reprisals.
The defendant, who cannot be named due to reporting restrictions, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Newry, this morning (Tuesday).
He appeared before the court for the purposes of a bail application, charged with two counts of rape and one count of attempted rape.
The charges relate to an investigation into serious sexual offending which began in September 2021.
The court heard that the charges relate to three separate incidents involving three alleged injured parties.
The charges of rape are alleged to have occurred in December 2022, with the attempted rape charge alleged to have occurred in September 2021.
The defendant, who appeared before the court via videolink from Banbridge custody suite, and with significant facial injuries, said that he understood the charges.
Detective Constable Natalie Boyd outlined police objections to bail.
She explained that there were three injured parties in the case. The first of which came forward to police and reported that on December 30, the defendant had allegedly been at her address socially. She went to bed alone and alleges that she woke to find the defendant on top of her having penetrative sex with her.
After the complaint was received the defendant was arrested for rape.
On January 2, while the defendant was in custody, a second injured party made a complaint to police, alleging that whilst having consensual sex with the defendant on December 21, she became uneasy and asked him to stop, which he failed to do.
On the same day, a third injured party alleged that the defendant had showed up to her house uninvited on September 2, 2021 following an exchange of Snapchat messages.
She “reluctantly” allowed him into the house, after which he is accused of “writhing against her sexually” and groping her.
“She told him to stop but he didn’t stop until he got a phone call,” the officer said.
Based on the allegations from the second and third injured parties, the defendant was further arrested for rape and attempted rape.
Detective Constable Boyd said that the offences “show a propensity to predatory behaviour where the victims have been attacked in their own home addresses”.
Concerns were also expressed around the defendant’s lack of a permanent home address, and the proximity of potential bail addresses to the injured parties.
DC Boyd added: “He has already been caused a significant injury during what was believed to be a reprisal attack in relation to one of the charges and we would have concerns that there may be further reprisal attacks on him.”
Gabriel Ingram, defending said that there was a “presumption of innocence in the case.”
He added that it was still “early days” in the case, noting that his client has not previously been known to police.
“He has answered each and every question put to him by police and he has given them an account in regard to all three cases,” he added.
“The actual phone evidence and the texts and the interchange of texts between my client and the three ladies in question would actually quote objectively to support his case of innocence rather than their case that he is guilty.”
District Judge Anne Marshall said: “These are three separate, extremely serious allegations of a sexual nature against three separate females and I am satisfied that there is indeed a risk of further offences in those circumstances.
“I do consider that at this stage there is a risk of interference to witnesses. The injured parties are known to you, and it’s a very early stage of the investigation and I want to ensure that the investigation is able to be carried out without any interference from you.”
Judge Marshall, considering these factors, alongside the protection of the public, refused bail to the defendant and adjourned the case to January 31.