Police car chase ‘after woman kidnapped and raped’

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A woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped in her car before police launched a high-speed police pursuit, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said she was discovered in a shopping trolley being pushed by the man accused of attacking her in Armagh.

It was also claimed Nathan Kidney told the complainant he was “in control” of her and issued threats to kill during the encounter on June 11.

The 19-year-old defendant, of Deringa Road in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, was refused bail.

Kidney denies more than 50 charges, including rape, sexual assault, kidnap, false imprisonment, 25 common assaults, aggravated vehicle taking and other motoring offences.

The woman claims he had appeared as she went to get into the car, grabbed her by the hair and told her to drive, the court heard.

She was then allegedly ordered to stop and dragged outside, with the vehicle rolling back and injuring her foot because the handbrake wasn’t on.

According to her account Kidney then got behind the wheel and drove to a field, telling her to remove clothing and thumping her head when she refused.

Crown lawyer James Johnston said the woman alleged she was repeatedly slapped on the backside and made to count every strike.

She also claims to have been raped and later forced to perform a sex act on Kidney while he was driving.

Police launched a pursuit after the car was spotted at Gosford Road in Armagh, the judge was told.

Mr Johnston said the vehicle reached speeds of 80mph in a 30mph zone, mounting pavements and travelling against the flow of traffic.

Despite the deployment of a stinger device, the car continued on and struck a number of others before the pursuit was called off.

It was later found abandoned, with a police search ending when Kidney was found pushing the complainant in the shopping trolley.

Before they were located he allegedly forced her to hide with him at a nursing home and college buildings amid fears a police helicopter was tracking them.

Kidney was arrested and denied the assaults during interviews, insisting any sexual contact was consensual.

He also claimed the woman had been driving and responsible for her injuries.

Refusing bail, however, Madam Justice McBride cited the risk of reoffending.