Northern Ireland

Woman charged in connection with rape by gang in Lurgan

A 33-year-old woman has appeared at court in Lisburn charged in connection with the rape of a woman by a gang and an attack on a man in Lurgan last week.

The attack, at Dingwell Park in Lurgan on 13 July, lasted for about 12 hours.

Edita Matijosaitiene, 33, of Bluestone Hall, Craigavon, is originally from Lithuania.

She is accused of lying to police and helping her boyfriend to avoid arrest. She was refused bail. A 21-year-old man is also being questioned by police.

Police said the man, who was arrested on Wednesday, is being held on suspicion of attempted murder as part of the overall investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the court heard that Ms Matijosaitiene admitted initially giving the police a false name.

She also admitted helping her boyfriend flee, but claimed she only did so because she was scared of him.

She denied a charge that she sent intimidating text messages to the victim urging her not to make a statement to the police and she claimed someone else must have used her phone.

The court heard that on the evening of the incident, the accused brought the victim to Lurgan police station.

'Bloodstained clothing'

There, she was said to have given officers a false name and left.

The following day, the police called to her home looking for her boyfriend.

The court heard he had already left, allegedly with the help of the accused.

The next day it was claimed she again called at Lurgan police station, this time bringing with her bloodstained clothing belonging to another suspect in the gang rape.

She left again, but was contacted that evening by the police.

On Monday morning, the court heard Ms Matijosaitiene presented herself for a third time at Lurgan police station where she was arrested.

In total, the police are looking for three suspects in relation to both the rape and assault. All three remain at large.

Edita Matijosaitiene was refused bail and will appear again in court next Friday.

On Saturday, five Lithuanian men appeared in court charged with possessing an offensive weapon and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

The court was told police feared the five were intent on revenge for the Dingwell Park assaults.