Teenager on rape charge refused bail

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A teenager accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in the grounds of Foyle and Londonderry College has been refused bail.

Adam Titheridge, whose address was given on court papers as 4 Glenside Gardens, is charged with rape, grievous bodily harm with intent and aggravated assault on July 8.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court the incident was brought to police attention after members of the public flagged down a passing police car.

The 15-year-old had been running through traffic on the Northland Road in a highly distressed state and reported to those who stopped that she had been raped.

The alleged victim later told police that she had been walking along the Northland Road and 19-year-old Titheridge offered to get her a taxi because she shouldn’t be walking on her own.

She claims he pretended to ring a taxi and when the alleged victim realised one wasn’t coming she refused to go any further with him.

The court heard the girl made allegations that Titheridge forced her over a wall into the school grounds and pushed her to the ground, causing her to sustain a suspected broken foot.

She claims the 19-year-old raped her and when she tried to scream, he told her to shut up and covered her mouth with his hand.

The officer told the court Titheridge was identified as a result of police enquiries and during interview he claimed that the sex was consensual.

She also revealed that there is “strong medical and forensic evidence” linking Titheridge to the offences.

The officer said police believe Titheridge is likely to re-offend if released from custody and it would “be in the public interest for him no to be released on bail.”

She said police also had objections to the proposed bail address as it is close to a number of schools and a teenage girl lived in the house.

Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr said a bail address in London was available to the 19-year-old and police fears could be dealt with by stringent bail conditions including daily reporting.

He added that his client would be keen to return to Northern Ireland to contest the charges against him.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said the bail address is “completely unsuitable.”

He added he was “not at all satisfied that conditions could cover the risk here.”

Titheridge was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on January 12.