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Predatory rape ‘one of the most disturbing incidents court will ever hear’

Dungannon Court

A judge has described the case of two teenagers accused of taking a random woman into an underground carpark, each allegedly raping her while the other kept watch, as “one of the most disturbing incidents the court will ever hear”.

The remarks were made as one of the accused again failed in an application for bail.

Alcino Soares, 18, of Braeside, Dungannon is charged with rape, sexual assault and twice aiding and abetting a youth to rape.

The youth who cannot be identified because of his age and whom police believe was the “instigator” of the attack, faces the same charges.

A detective constable previously told Dungannon Magistrates’ Court the complainant attended with police to report being raped by two unknown males on September 9.

She had been out with friends when the males approached and walked her – one on either side – to an empty underground carpark in Dungannon, where she was taken to a rear corner and raped by one of the males, while the other “watched and laughed”.

The detective said Soares “paced up and down, apparently keeping a look out”.

Adding: “He laughed on a number of occasions whilst the youth appeared to be raping the injured party. At some points she appeared completely limp and may have been unconscious. She was unable to hold up her head and was ragdoll-like.”

She stumbled away but Soares approached and pulled down her lower clothing before allegedly raping her.

The youth reappeared and, while laughing, seemingly took a photo or video of the ongoing rape on his phone.

Soares walked away leaving the complainant lying on the ground, slumped over on her left-hand side.

The youth got the complainant to her feet before subjecting her to another sexual assault.

Both males then walked her from the carpark.

On September 23 police encountered Soares after receiving reports he appeared to be following women and filming them on his phone.

He provided officers with false details although later corrected this.

Bodyworn footage from this incident was compared with the CCTV material from the carpark and Soares was identified and arrested.

A search of his home recovered clothing police believe he was wearing at the time of the alleged sexual attack.

Over 10 mobile phones were seized and it later emerged DNA matching the defendant was found on the complainant’s trousers.

After caution he replied: “I didn’t rape anyone. No way man. That wasn’t me.”

During interview he denied rape insisting all sexual activity was consensual and the complainant “wanted it” and was “50/50 drunk”.

Bail was refused both at magistrates and High Court.

A further application was mounted today (Friday) and renewing his objections, the detective said: “If convicted there is the potential for a lengthy custodial sentence which he may try to avoid by fleeing.

“There is strong public feeling as a female has endured a well-publicised, horrific ordeal and ultimately wants the offenders brought to justice. If released, the fear it would instil in the community would be monumental.

“The details are both sensitive and distressing with CCTV showing the predatory nature of this carefully considered act, with each appearing to keep watch for the other as the abhorrent behaviour was carried out. We believe the defendant presents a high risk to the public, specifically young females.”

Defence counsel stressed bail should be considered as Soares “has raised the issue of consent, and the alleged offending occurred while he was a youth”.

But refusing again, District Judge Michael Ranaghan, said: “This is perhaps one of the most disturbing incidents the court will ever hear. If convicted the defendant faces a significant period in jail. The risks are just too great.”

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