Rape charge withdrawn for Belfast loyalist, 35

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A loyalist community worker accused of raping a woman who later killed herself has had the charge against him withdrawn, it emerged yesterday.

The decision to end proceedings against David McConnell was made on a without prejudice basis.

It means the case could still be brought back to court at a later stage.

McConnell, 35, with an address at Victoria Road in the Sydenham area of east Belfast, had been charged with carrying out a rape in the city last June.

The alleged victim took her own life days later, police told a court hearing.

McConnell was said to have been facing death threats from loyalist paramilitaries, and an order was previously made to protect his identity.