Judge reconsidering remand of youth accused of rape at Magherafelt bonfire

Magherafelt Courthouse.
Magherafelt Courthouse.
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A district judge has warned he will be reconsidering the continuing remand in custody of a teenager accused of rape, due to ongoing delay.

The youth, who cannot be identified due to his age, is charged with raping a female during the early hours of July 12 following an 11th Night bonfire in Magherafelt.

He was refused bail at the first appearance which took place at Derry Magistrates Court a few days after the alleged incident, due to fears of reoffending and potential witness interference.

The case was then transferred to Magherafelt Magistrates Court where, several weeks ago, District Judge Alan White ordered a detailed update on the progress of the case having noted relevant delay.

At the most recent sitting, a prosecution lawyer stated she had emailed police twice but to date has received no response, although she indicated the investigating officer is on sick leave at present.

Permitting another adjournment, Judge White said: “I expect an update on the next occasion or else I will be reconsidering the appropriateness of continued remand in custody.” The case is due to be mentioned again on October 7.”

He was refused bail at the first appearance which took place at Derry Magistrates Court a few days after the alleged incident