MAN CHARGED WITH SEX ATTACK
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
A NEWRY man is suspected of carrying out a violent sexual assault against a stranger he snatched from the street.
Daniel Martin James Carroll, whose address is listed by the court as being Francis Hughes Park, Belleeks - which the Democrat understands is in fact an address he was previously bailed to on other matters - is charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment and two motoring matters.
The charges stem to the early hours of December 21 when, the court heard, police were contacted by gardaí regarding the abduction of a young woman from the Seatown area of Dundalk.
A detective constable, in court to voice police objections to bail, told District Judge Eamonn King that shortly after the 2am contact from gardaí, police in Newry received a report from a member of the public that a "hysterical" and barefoot woman had turned up at her front door begging for help and claiming to have been snatched from The Square in Dundalk.
The court heard that, while en route to the station with police tasked to follow-up the report, the woman pointed out a house on Newry's Orior Road, telling the officers she was taken there by her attacker.
The court heard that the alleged injured party subsequently told police she had been dropped home at around midnight following a meal with family and had arranged to meet her boyfriend in a pub about a 10-minute walk from her home.
The court was told that, while on the way there, the woman passed a seemingly drunk man. Moments later, the same man - who police believe to be Carroll - grabbed her round the waist and forced her into the back of a car, which was being driven by a woman.
The court heard it claimed that Carroll sat on the victim's chest and repeatedly punched her. It was told that the woman police believe was driving the vehicle - who is now Carroll's co-accused - is his ex.
The detective constable said 21-year-old Carroll told his co-accused to drive to the Carrickdale Hotel car park, where he assaulted both women before taking control of the car himself, telling his co-accused she wasn't driving fast enough.
The court heard that three independent witnesses had seen the woman being snatched and, after contacting gardaí, had followed the car from Dundalk, losing it in Newry but that "the entire incident" was also captured on CCTV. Meanwhile, the woman told police, she "played dead" after being assaulted and overheard an argument between her abductors about "what to do with her now".
The woman, who suffers from asthma and had to give up her ruse of unconsciousness in order to use her inhaler, was eventually taken to the Orior Road house, at which point the other woman sped off in the vehicle.
The court heard that the man police believe to be Carroll took the woman indoors and asked her if she was afraid of him. He then kissed her on the lips and moved his hand up her thigh. The victim said she managed to push him off and escape, running to the nearby house from which police were called.
The court heard that police later arrested Carroll at the same house pointed out to them by the victim. The woman driver was also subsequently located and arrested.
It was told that the victim, who suffered "extreme swelling, cuts and bruises to both her face and body" has been left "severely traumatised".
The court heard that Carroll's co-accused told police he'd rung her asking for a lift from Dundalk and that, when she arrived, he pushed the victim into her car. She confirmed to police that both she and the victim were assaulted and said she co-operated with Carroll because she was "scared for her own safety". She told police she had been suffered repeated domestic violence by him in the past.
Using the fact that she was now a co-accused and no longer a prosecution witness as the basis of its "change of circumstances" bail bid, defence told the court that Carroll therefore no longer presented a risk to witnesses, as the others involved are mainly Dundalk based.
It added that a £5,000 surety had been offered to the court by Carroll's father and sister and that Carroll was willing to surrender his passport. The court was told that Carroll's father would provide him with a bail address and pointed out that his co-accused has been granted bail.
The detective constable told the court the co-accused's alleged role "is much lesser", as is her record, than Carroll's. The officer said Carroll had been on bail at the time of the alleged offences and had been using two separate bail addresses - one of which was his father's. It was also pointed out that one of the witnesses is based in Newry.
Refusing bail on the grounds of risk of further offending, interference with witnesses and of flight, Mr King adjourned the case until April 3.
Carroll failed in a further bail bid today (Monday) before Belfast High Court.
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