Northern Ireland

Ryan Fairlamb: Soldier jailed for raping woman in Belfast

An English soldier who raped a woman in Belfast city centre has been jailed for six years.

Ryan James Fairlamb, of Camdon Close in Lincoln, was stationed at Ballykinler army camp in County Down when he raped the woman following a night out last May.

The judge told Belfast Crown Court it was a "truly disgraceful incident".

The 22-year-old will spend three years in custody and the remainder of his sentence on supervised licence.

His victim, who is now 23, has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

A previous hearing was told the crime was filmed on CCTV and he only admitted the offence after watching the footage.

Threatened

A prosecution lawyer said he had met the woman at a nightclub in the Cathedral Quarter and upon leaving, he asked her if she wanted to come back to the Army camp with him.

She declined his request but they agreed to share a taxi that would drop her off home.

The court heard there was consensual kissing as they walked around trying to find an available taxi.

He brought her to the entrance of an apartment block, pushed her to the ground and raped her.

When she threatened to scream, Fairlamb threatened to break her nose, the prosecution lawyer said.

At one stage of the incident that lasted 18 minutes, Fairlamb "pushed her about quite roughly," the court heard.

'Disgusting'

Fairlamb fled when two men who live in the apartment block arrived at the entrance.

Despite not knowing her attacker's full name, the woman was able to confirm he was a soldier and was stationed at Ballykinler.

The court also heard that during the investigation, it emerged Fairlamb had sent one of his friends a mobile phone message saying, "If anyone asks, I wasn't out last night".

He also said the footage was "disgusting" and asked officers to turn it off.

A defence barrister said Fairlamb was aware of the "hurt and damage" he had caused to the victim, and he had shown remorse.

'Disgraceful'

He said Fairlamb was suspended from the Army and would not be returning to his job following the incident that was "completely out of character".

Passing sentence, the judge said Fairlamb's victim had lost her trust in people and had sleeping difficulties.

"This was a truly disgraceful incident - the defendant treated the victim as a pure vehicle for his lust," he said.

"Not only did he physically assault her but he put her through the indignity of raping her in a public street.

"Then when confronted with his behaviour, he only accepted his guilt when confronted with clear and undeniable evidence."

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