Two men jointly charged with raping 12-year-old girl in Belfast
Men in their 20s refused bail after court appearance
Two men appeared in court on Thursday accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Belfast this week.
Standing side-by-side in Lisburn Magistrates Court the 27-year-old and 23-year-old confirmed they understood their respective charges before the Northern Ireland men were jointly charged with the rape and sexual assault of female child under the age of 13 on December 23rd last.
The 27-year-old was further charged with three additional counts of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, tendering counterfeit currency, stealing alcohol worth £2.99 from a Spar shop and two counts of making a threat to kill two males.
Giving evidence to the court, Detective Sergeant McArthur said he could connect both men to the charges and that police had objections to their bail applications amid fears they would commit further offences or interfere with the witnesses.
He revealed that due to the “vulnerability of the girls,” neither formal statements nor Achieving Best Evidence video interviews had been conducted so police were proceeding on verbal accounts from the alleged victims but that the ABE’s will be held “in the coming days.”
He further revealed that both complainants had attended at a rape enquiry centre.Despite defence submissions the men could be freed with bail conditions , District Judge Amanda Henderson said she shared the police concerns “not least to do with the age and vulnerability of the injured parties” so she was refusing bail.