Woman raped in McDonalds toilet, court told

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A woman was allegedly raped at knifepoint by her former partner in the toilets of a fast food restaurant in Belfast city centre, the High Court has heard.

The man, an African asylum seeker, forced himself on the victim after following her into the ladies at McDonalds on Donegall Place, it was claimed yesterday.

A prosecuting lawyer said the 33-year-old allegedly took the woman's clothes off and said, “You know what I need”, before twice raping her.

Crown counsel Philip Henry said: “The injured party stated she was aware he had a knife and was very afraid he would use it.”

A decision has yet to be taken on whether to charge the man, who cannot be named to protect his ex-partner's identity, over the alleged attack in May.

Details were disclosed as he applied for bail on separate charges of intimidation, making threats to kill and breach of a non-molestation order.

Those charges relate to claims that he telephoned the woman last week in a bid to get her to drop complaints against him.

In one call he allegedly warned her: “You're a dead person walking, my boys are operating in the north.”

The court heard claims that he then phoned again to say he knew where her mother lived.

It was alleged that when she asked him to stay away he replied with a similar threat: “The mafia are all coming over . . . you are a dead person walking.”

Opposing bail, Mr Henry said the PSNI's public protection unit have carried out a risk evaluation on the accused.

“He has been assessed as a category three potentially dangerous person — that is the highest in a three tier category,” the barrister added.

Mark Farrell, defending, told the court his client was awaiting a decision on his application for political asylum.

According to the accused it was the woman who phoned him because he had started a new relationship.

Refusing to release the man, Lord Justice Higgins ruled it was not an appropriate case to grant bail.

* Source: The Belfast Telegraph.