Rape accused released on bail

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A man accused of raping a woman as part of an alleged violent crime spree in Derry can be released from custody, a High Court judge ruled today.

Michael Carlin was granted bail on a total of 43 charges, including possession of a gun, multiple attempted car hijackings and sexually assaulting another alleged victim.

Further counts against the 23-year-old include aggravated burglary and vehicle taking, having a samurai sword, theft, assault, criminal damage to a traffic light and failing to stop or remain at the scene of a road accident.

All of the alleged offences were committed in the Galliagh and Shantallow areas of the city on November 18-19 last year.

During a previous hearing it was claimed that Carlin and a co-accused had been on a drink and drugs binge.

It was alleged that Facebook postings depicted Carlin holding a samurai sword and a metal bat.

Later that day a series of violent attacks were launched on motorists and shop staff, according to the case against him.

Lawyers representing Carlin, of Amelia Court in Derry, went before the High Court in Belfast today in a bid to secure his release.

Bail was granted on strict conditions, including a prohibition on the accused contacting either of two co-accused or any alleged victims.

He was ordered no to have any drugs or so-called legal highs and must not enter any licensed premises.

The judge also imposed a ban to restrict Carlin from entering parts of the city except for court appearances and legal appointments.