Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 16:38 UK

Teen is jailed for raping tourist

Colin Glen Forest Park
The attack happened at Colin Glen Forest Park in April 2008

A teenager who raped an American tourist as she walked through a park on the outskirts of west Belfast has been jailed for eight years.

The youth, who was 15 when he carried out the attack and cannot be named because of his age, will also spend two years on probation when he is released.

Craigavon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard the youth initially claimed the sex was consensual.

He later admitted raping the woman in Colin Glen Forest Park last April.

The tourist was out walking when she was approached by the defendant who struck up a conversation with her.

She walked on but the youth followed, despite her asking him to leave her alone.

The court heard said the youth's attitude then changed and he became aggressive and started speaking in lewd sexual language.

He told the woman he had a knife and threatened to stab her before dragging her down a path towards a hidden area and raping her twice.

When the woman was examined after the attack, a doctor recorded 39 separate injuries including multiple bruises and abrasions to her neck and limbs.

Cannabis

The defendant presented himself voluntarily to a police station six days later.

He told police he had travelled from Dublin to Belfast on the day in question and had smoked five cannabis joints before carrying out the attack.

The court also heard that after his parents split up, the teenager spent time living in both the north and south of Ireland which had a negative impact on his education.

A defence barrister said his young client, who is now 16, was remorseful for his actions and told a probation officer: "I am a monster".

The barrister said the youth eventually admitted his guilt as he "didn't want to make a liar out of his victim."



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