14 Jan 2014
'12-hour rape ordeal' trial aborted
The trial of two men over allegations that a Lithuanian woman was held for 12 hours and repeatedly raped has been aborted over concerns that evidence had not been properly translated
The interpretation of the victim's evidence was said to be "inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable", Craigavon Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
Lithuanian national Darius Porcikas, 24 and from Upper Edward Street in Newry, had been facing 14 charges - including five of rape, two of sexual assault and two of false imprisonment - in relation to the woman's alleged ordeal in Lurgan.
His co-accused and fellow Lithuanian Vytautas Mikulinas, 23 and from Birch Hill Park in Portadown, had been accused of a single charge of causing actual bodily harm to the woman's ex-partner.
The alleged offences were said to have happened in July 2011.
But a day after the jury heard details of the case, they were discharged by Judge Patrick Lynch QC.
He told them that the unreliable interpretation meant they would be deciding guilt or innocence on the basis of unreliable evidence.
A prosecution QC told the judge that other interpreters had drawn their misgivings to the court about the standard of translation of the victim's evidence.
He added that further investigations had revealed that the original interpreter was not on the national register.
It had been the Crown case that Porcikas and a third man not before the court had beaten the victim's ex-boyfriend into unconsciousness before launching the alleged sex attack, and also continuing to beat the man while he lay defenceless.
The alleged victim had been due to continue her account on Tuesday, but has been unable to do so.
Discharging the jury, Judge Lynch thanked them for their attendance and also thanked the interpreters for their intervention.
He added that it may have "contributed to ensuring that an injustice was not caused".