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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 18 September, 2019

High Court hears woman was allegedly raped after being injected with a substance at a flat in Derry

Prosecutors claimed she sustained facial fractures and a suspected bleed to the brain from being beaten at a flat in Derry.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A WOMAN WAS allegedly raped after being injected with a substance and having a rope tied around her neck, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors claimed she also sustained facial fractures and a suspected bleed to the brain from being beaten at a flat in Derry.

Shaun Hegarty, 27, is charged with attempted murder, rape, inflicting grievous bodily harm and attempted choking in connection with the alleged attack at his home on 6 April.

Hegarty, of Balliniska Heights in the city, also faces counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order, administering a substance with intent to stupefy the woman for sexual activity, and perverting the course of justice by trying to dispose of evidence.

He denies the charges, insisting any sex was fully consensual.

During his failed application for bail, a Crown lawyer said the woman was found in a distressed state on Derry’s Northland Road in the early hours of 7 April.

Her tongue was swollen and ligatures marks were discovered around her neck, according to the prosecution.

She claimed Hegarty had injected her with something at his flat, tied her with a rope and committed rape.

The woman was treated in hospital for injuries including a fractured cheekbone and eye socket.

When police entered the accused’s home he appeared to be just out of the shower, the court was told.

It was alleged that blood stains were located in the property, along with a towel, latex gloves and evidence of an attempted clean-up.

In police interviews Hegarty gave an account that the pair had engaged in consensual intercourse.

In opposing bail, the prosecution contended that he posed a high risk of re-offending.

Counsel also disclosed that toxicology reports are still outstanding amid claims that the alleged victim had a drug injected into either her tongue or finger.

Defence barrister Sean Doherty argued that some of the woman’s assertions have been shown to be false, describing her version of events as “fanciful”.

He said: “One of which was that the applicant prostituted her from his flat over the course of the evening.”

Hegarty based his renewed bid to be released from custody on delays in the case.

But Lord Justice Treacy rejected any suggestion of a lack of progress.

Refusing bail, he said: “The investigation is proceeding with relevant expedition, I fail to see there’s any substance whatsoever in the point about delay.”

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Alan Erwin

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