Woman sexually assaulted during visit to city for Fleadh, court hears

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A market trader was sexually attacked by a man after renting a room from him for the All-Ireland Fleadh in Derry, it was claimed in the High Court on Tuesday.

The South American woman alleged that Ahmed Bouazzi pinned her down in bed and told her all men wanted to do what he was doing.

Bouazzi, a 28-year-old Tunisian national with an address at Woodvale Mews, Derry, faces charges of sexual assault and possession of cannabis.

He was refused bail by a judge who described his application as “wholly unmeritorious”.

The alleged victim came to Derry earlier this month to sell items during the week-long music and dance festival.

After inquiring about finding a place to stay she met Bouazzi and agreed to rent out a room for £50, the court heard.

It was claimed that he turned up drunk at the flat in the Kular Court area early on August 14 drunk and got into her bed.

Prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd said Bouazzi is alleged to have climbed on top of the woman, held her down by her wrists and carried out the sexual assault.

“He told her he liked her, that he needed this as he had been alone for a long time, that it was natural and that all men wanted to do what he was doing,” the barrister said.

The woman claimed he agreed to stop if she didn’t tell anyone what had happened.

She then left the flat and went back to her stall before staying in a friend’s van.

Police who arrested Bouazzi also found some suspected herbal cannabis on him, the court heard.

A defence barrister confirmed that the sexual assault allegation is being denied.

He added: “I accept there’s a strong prima facie case against the applicant.”

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Deeny described the alleged attack on a visitor to the city as “absolutely deplorable”.

The judge said: “It’s one of the most unmeritorious applications I have heard in a long time.