Man charged with rape and assault

20 years-old Aaron Hyland hides his face as he is led into Bishop Street Courthouse yesterday morning. DER4114MC001
20 years-old Aaron Hyland hides his face as he is led into Bishop Street Courthouse yesterday morning. DER4114MC001
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There were angry scenes in court yesterday as a 20-year-old man appeared accused of raping a woman in the city at the weekend.

Aaron Francis Hyland, whose address was given as Cranbrook Court, Belfast, is charged withthe rape of a 23-year-old woman on October 3.

He is also charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a claw hammer.

The 20-year-old faces further charges of making a threat to kill a police officer, assault on police and possessing cannabis.

All these charges relate to an alleged incident in the Glenabbey area of Galliagh.

Hyland also faces public order offences relating to an alleged incident on September 20.

As the 20-year-old was brought into the dock, people in the public gallery stood up and one of them pointed at the defendant and mouthed abuse.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that he understood that tensions were high and it was a very difficult situation as a ‘young lady is seriously ill’.

However, he warned those in the public gallery ‘I will not tolerate threatening behaviour and if there is another incident I will have people thrown out of court’.

There was a heavy police presence in court for the brief hearing and members of the alleged injured party’s family were in attendance.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court he believed he could connect the 20-year-old to the charges.

He confirmed that Hyland called the ambulance for the alleged injured party and was arrested in the vicinity of the scene.

The officer also said the defendant made no comment during six police interviews and he then handed in a prepared statement denying the offences.

There was no application for bail and Hyland was remanded in custody to appear in court again on October 23.