true crime

Man charged with terrifying rape of a woman in a park might not stand trial.

After being charged with the rape of a young woman on an isolated path in an Northern Ireland park last Wednesday, James Wright tried to “strangle himself”.

The ill-fated suicide attempt was the first sign that Wright was of subnormal intelligence.

Since his arrest, Wright has refused to answer any questions, refused to provide intimate body samples and refused to take part in an identification process.

Police observed that his behaviour was not violent or angry – rather, it appeared that Wright had no comprehension of the charges brought against him.

Psychologists who assessed Wright say his IQ hovers around 44, raising questions about his suitability to stand trial.

In Wright’s bail application yesterday, the prosecution told the High Court that the victim had been walking her dog through the park when Wright grabbed her, placing his hand over her mouth so that she couldn’t breathe.

“She said she was scared, concerned that he was going to kill her and realised there was no-one there coming to help her,” the prosecution told the court.

Dungannon Park, where the rape took place.

"At this point she became resigned to what was going to happen and said she did not resist (as) he put her to the ground."

It is alleged that Wright asked the victim intrusive personal questions while he raped her, leading the victim to believe "he had a learning difficulty of some sort".

The 23-year-old told his defence team yesterday that the "pressure was getting to him".

The judge adjourned the bail application pending further investigation of Wright's mental condition.

"There's an obligation on this court to take steps to protect the victim - and this lady has been raped, this isn't an alleged rape - and other members of the public," the judge said.

"But there's also an obligation, given the circumstances, the IQ and limitations of Mr Wright, to make sure he's protected. There isn't a conflict between those interests."

Watch: Waleed Aly speak out on the dangers of victim blaming.

Video via The Project
Tags: crime-2 , current-affairs , news-3 , women
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