BELFAST JUDGE BANS IDENTITY OF RAPE ACCUSED OVER DEATH THREAT

Belfast judge bans rape accused's identity over death threat

Belfast judge bans rape accused’s identity over death threat

A MAN charged with raping a woman in Belfast at the weekend cannot be identified because he is under death threat, a judge has ordered.

The 35-year-old suspect is accused of carrying out the rape on the 41-year-old woman last Saturday.

The accused appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to face one single count of rape.

A detective from the PSNI’s Rape Crime Unit which is handling the investigation said he could connect him with the alleged offence.

The accused did not apply for bail but a defence lawyer applied for reporting restrictions to stop his client being publicly named in the press and media.

Solicitor Michael Boyd said a death threat had been received which police were taking seriously.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall pointed out that it was a high test to grant anonymity to defendants.

But on the basis of a “real and immediate threat” to the accused, even though he remains in custody, she banned publication of his name and address.

The 35-year-old was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on Thursday, July 4.

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