Woman 'raped' during lift home from club

Published Wednesday, 07 November 2012
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A woman who accepted a lift home from a Belfast nightclub was allegedly raped and subjected to a sexual assault, a jury has heard.

Woman 'raped' during lift home from club
The rape trial is set to last for a week. (© UTV)

Belfast Crown Court further heard that the 33-year-old victim had fled from the car without knowing where she was and had to knock on a stranger's door to get help.

The alleged incident occurred in the early hours of 31 July last year.

The accused, 39-year-old Algerian national Nahab Toufik who has an address on the South Circular Road in Dublin, is charged with rape, two counts of sexual assault and one of false imprisonment.

On Wednesday, the prosecution made their opening statements to the jury.

The woman and her friend were said to have gone to Ollie's nightclub in the city centre, but the alleged victim had been left alone when her friend left with a man she met.

Toufik was said to have spoken to her at one stage during the evening and later, when she was in a tearful state after her friend had gone, offered her a lift to meet her mother.

It was the prosecution case that instead, Toufik drove them to a quiet spot just off Regent Street, in the Peter's Hill area - where the attack then happened.

According to a lawyer for the prosecution, the terrified woman struggled to get out but found the car doors were locked. She was said to have been pushed back in her seat and raped.

When the woman got away, the prosecution said she fled to a nearby house to get help.

The jury heard that the alleged attack had been reported to police and that the woman was examined by a doctor.Forensic tests were said to find a partial DNA profile matching that of the accused.

Toufik was arrested two months later, in his car outside the Fitzwilliam Hotel, and admitted during police questioning that the woman had been in his car and that there had been sexual contact.

The prosecution added that Toufik had essentially alleged that the sexual contact had been consensual and that the woman was a willing participant.

The trial, which is set to last for a week, continues.

© UTV News
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