Man accused of Belfast rape granted High Court bail

A man accused of raping and stabbing a woman he met in Belfast has been banned from entering the city.

The prohibition was imposed on 32-year-old Barry Dullaghan as part of strict conditions under which he was granted High Court bail.

Dullaghan, of Cathedral Road in Armagh, allegedly took her back to his home to carry out the attack on March 10.

But his lawyers have challenged the reliability of the alleged victim’s account, insisting any sex was consensual.

He denies charges of rape and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The woman was allegedly subjected to a sexual assault and suffered knife wounds, losing significant amounts of blood, the court heard.

She gave an initial, “dazed” account that the pair had only just met at a house party in Belfast before returning to Armagh.

Prosecution counsel revealed that the woman had been reported missing at the time.

However, defence barrister Michael Forde argued that Dullaghan and the alleged victim knew each other.

“They had been texting for three weeks previously,” he said.

Mr Forde also claimed they met up at a train station in Belfast on the night of the alleged attack before going together to a Holiday Inn hotel.

From there they travelled back together in a taxi, he contended.

Madam Justice McBride held that a prima facie case has been established, but decided Dullaghan could be released from custody to live at an address in Newry.

She ordered him to keep out of the Greater Belfast area and prohibited any attempt to contact the woman.

He must also abide by a curfew, alcohol ban and report daily to police. ends