Rape ac­cused ‘waited near Belfast al­ley for an hour’

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BYALANERWIN

A 19-YEAR-OLD man al­legedly raped a woman in Belfast city cen­tre within min­utes of meet­ing her, a court heard yesterday.

Po­lice claimed Marko Dol­hir pulled the woman into an al­ley­way at Lit­tle May Street af­ter wait­ing in the area for up to an hour.

Dol­hir, an Ira­nian na­tional with an ad­dress at San­dring­ham Drive in Leeds, ap­peared be­fore Belfast Mag­is­trates’ Court charged with rape, at­tempted rape and sex­ual as­sault over the in­ci­dent on Novem­ber 25. He de­nies the al­le­ga­tions, telling po­lice any con­tact was con­sen­sual.

Op­pos­ing bail, a de­tec­tive con­sta­ble claimed there were risks he could leave the ju­ris­dic­tion or com­mit fur­ther of­fences.

She told the court Dol­hir had al­legedly been in the area for up to an hour, wait­ing for a “vul­ner­a­ble” fe­male. Within two min­utes of meet­ing the woman he pulled her into an al­ley­way where the al­leged of­fences were com­mit­ted, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The court was told CCTV footage was used to iden­tify him.

De­fence solic­i­tor Bren­dan Blaney dis­closed that Dol­hir has been liv­ing in the UK for two years.

Mr Blaney stressed that his client had an­swered all queries dur­ing three days of po­lice ques­tion­ing.

“He gave a full ac­count which, in essence, amounted to a con­sent de­fence,” the lawyer said.

But the de­tec­tive in­sisted Dol­hir only made that case af­ter DNA ev­i­dence was put to him.

“This in­ci­dent high­lights he has con­tacts in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the UK,” she added.

“He was able to stay at an ad­dress in North­ern Ire­land.”

Bail was re­fused due to the po­ten­tial risk of re-of­fend­ing.

Dis­trict Judge Fiona Bag­nall said: “If it’s cor­rect that there’s an el­e­ment of preda­tory wait­ing for some­one vul­ner­a­ble to come along, I have to say I’m not pre­pared to grant bail.”

Dol­hir was re­manded in cus­tody to ap­pear again by video-link in four weeks’ time.

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