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28/09/2021

Derry man charged with three rapes unable to attend court hearing due to death threat from dissident republicans

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A man who was due to appear at Derry Magistrate's Court today for a preliminary enquiry on a series of sex charges had had his case adjourned after the court was told he faced a death threat from dissident republicans. The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his alleged victims, faced a total of seven charges including three rapes, three indecent assaults and one sexual assault which were said to have taken place between July 2003 and November 2010. Before the preliminary enquiry could be heard defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said he was applying for an adjournment and a change of venue. He told the court that his client had received 'a threat to his life from dissident republicans.' The solicitor said the man had been the victim of a punishment attack some years back and had been told if he enters Derry he would be shot dead. He asked for the case to go to Omagh. District Judge Barney McElholm said that with 'a threat of that magnitude' it was difficult to see any other option. He adjourned the case for the PE to be heard in Omagh on July 3.

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