Northern Ireland

Rape accused released on bail by judge

Belfast high court
Image caption The judge at Belfast High Court granted bail for Mr Carlin but imposed a number of strict conditions

A man accused of raping a woman as part of an alleged violent crime spree in Londonderry can be released from custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Michael Carlin faces 43 charges, including possession of a gun, multiple attempted car hijackings and sexually assaulting another alleged victim.

All of the alleged offences were committed in the Galliagh and Shantallow areas of the city on 18 and 19 November last year.

Bail was granted on strict conditions.

These included a ban on the accused contacting either of two co-accused or any alleged victims.

Among the other charges the 23-year-old faces are aggravated burglary and vehicle taking, having a samurai sword, theft, assault, criminal damage to a traffic light and failing to stop or remain at the scene of a road accident.

During a previous hearing it was claimed that Mr Carlin and a co-accused had been on a drink and drugs binge.

It was alleged that Facebook postings depicted Mr Carlin holding a samurai sword and a metal bat.

Later that day a series of violent attacks was launched on motorists and shop staff, according to the case against him.

Lawyers representing Mr Carlin, of Amelia Court, Derry, went to the High Court in Belfast on Friday in a bid to secure his release.

He was also ordered not to have any drugs or so-called legal highs and must not enter any licensed premises.

The judge also imposed a ban to restrict Mr Carlin from entering parts of the city except for court appearances and legal appointments.