Abducted woman “played dead” in terrifying kidnap ordeal

June 4, 2013

A Belfast court has heard how a woman who was allegedly snatched from a Dundalk street last December pretended to be dead while her abductors argued about how to dispose of her body.

The woman said she had been grabbed and bundled into a car, driven by a woman, while on her way to meet her boyfriend near the Square in Dundalk.

She told the court she was then taken across the border and sexually assaulted before escaping from a house in Newry and alerting police.

The claims were made during a hearing last week where the accused, Daniel Carroll, was refused bail.  Twenty two year old Carroll, with an address at Francis Hughes Park, Belleek, faces charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual assault.

The court heard how PSNI and Garda officers had been alerted to an abduction in the Seapark area of Dundalk last December before receiving a call later that night from a Newry resident who said a young woman had arrived at her door hysterical and barefooted.

According to her account of the terrifying ordeal, the alleged victim said she screamed and begged for help as the accused sat on her chest and repeatedly punched her about the head and face, before ordering his female accomplice to drive on.

The vehicle travelled across the border to a nearby hotel car park where a series of assaults were allegedly carried out on both women.

Three witnesses to the incident attempted to follow the car but lost it in the Newry area, the court heard.

The prosecution lawyer told the court the woman was so afraid for her life that she played dead and overheard the male and female arguing about how they were going to dispose of her body.

She only revealed she was still alive when she had to use her asthma inhaler.

Her ordeal looked set to continue as the female driver dropped her off at a house on Newry’s Orior Road, along with her attacker, before speeding off.

However, the woman said she managed to escape and run to a nearby house for help.

After telling police where she had been taken, Mr Carroll was arrested.

Gardai have also provided CCTV of the incident to the PSNI.

The prosecution barrister revealed to the court that, apart from the hospital treatment she received for extensive swelling and cuts and bruises to her face and body, the woman has been left “severely traumatised” by the incident.

“Police say it has caused her and her family great distress. She has been in counselling since the incident” said the barrister.

Mr Justice Stephens ruled that Mr Carroll must remain in custody and added,

“The prima facie case against him is that he is an individual with total disregard for all standards of decency.”