Life of rape accused ‘seriously at risk’


Paramilitaries and members of the public are ‘baying for the blood’ of a man accused of rape, a court has heard.

A PSNI officer made the claim as 20-year-old Aaron Francis Hyland appeared at Derry Magistrates Court via videolink.

Hyland, whose address was given on court papers as Cranbrook Court, Belfast, is charged with rape, possessing a claw hammer and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm on October 3.

He is further charged with assaulting police, making a threat to kill and possessing cannabis.

The charges relate to an alleged incident in the Glenabbey area of the city on October 3.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that the alleged injured party sustained massive internal injuries in the alleged incident in Glenabbey. 
The court was told an ambulance was called to the house by Hyland. The alleged injured party was ‘bleeding profusely’ and was unconscious.

She was lying in the recovery position on a bedroom floor. The floor was allegedly covered in blood, as was a bed, the landing, bathroom and bath.

It was revealed the woman was in a critical condition and had to have ‘considerable surgery’ to treat her injuries.

Hyland, who was at the scene and had called the ambulance, was arrested.

The court heard allegations that as he was transported to the police station, Hyland struck out at an officer and attempted to head butt him.

It is further alleged the 20-year-old threatened to get a high ranking dissident republican to visit the police officer adding ‘tick, tick, boom, boom’.

During police interview, Hyland made no comment and then provided a statement. In this he claimed that any sexual contact with the alleged injured party was consensual.

Opposing bail, the investigating officer said Hyland’s life is ‘seriously at risk’.

He told the court ‘certain people would be delighted if this man received bail to get their hands on him’.

The officer said police also fear Hyland would commit further offences and may abscond.

He said assertions made by the 20-year-old that he would not be at risk in the area of Belfast where the proposed bail address is, shows he is ‘naive and foolish’.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said Hyland is a recidivist offender and he is ‘almost certain’ to commit further offences.

He added that he was not prepared to put the 20-year-old at risk ‘even if he is prepared to do that’.

Hyland was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on December 10.