Bail application adjourned for man accused of rape

The courthouse at Bishop Street
The courthouse at Bishop Street

A bail application by a man accused of raping a woman and inflicting ‘horrific injuries’ upon her with a hammer has been adjourned at Derry Crown Court..

Aaron Hyland, whose address was given on court papers as St Katherine’s Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast, is accused of rape, grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a claw hammer.

The 21-year-old is further charged with threats to kill, assault on police and possession of cannabis on October 3, 2014.

The bail application, which was opposed, was heard in Hyland’s absence.

It is alleged police received a call from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service who were attending an unconscious woman who was bleeding profusely.

The ambulance had been called by Hyland, who was also still at the scene when police arrived.

The woman was lying unconscious and naked in an upstairs bedroom.

It is alleged there was a claw hammer close by with blood on it.

The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition and her life was ‘at risk for some time’.

The court heard allegations when Hyland was being transported to the police station, he attempted to punch and head-butt a police officer.

He allegedly said ‘What’s your f****** name, I’ll get Colin Duffy round to see you. You’ll be getting a knock on the door. Tick, tick, tick...boom’.

Hyland was released on bail in June last year but was re-arrested in August after he breached bail conditions.

A prosecutor told the court police had concerns about the 21-year-old being released on bail because of the seriousness of the offences.

He said there were fears the defendant will commit further offences and fears that he would abscond because there is a threat against him.

It was also claimed the proposed bail address was the home of a recovering alcoholic who had never met Hyland and was not aware of the seriousness of the alleged offences.

Defence solicitor Jack Quigley said his client had phoned the ambulance for the woman and remaining at the scene ‘wasn’t typical behaviour of someone who allegedly committed most serious offences’.

Mr Quigley said the man offering the bail address had said Hyland was ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and he was ‘happy’ to have him at his home.

Judge Phillip Babington adjourned the application until February 3 for further investigations into the proposed bail address.