Detectives in Craigavon have welcomed the sentence handed down to 24 year old Darius Porcikas at Craigavon Crown Court.
Porcikas was found guilty of a total of 12 offences including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault and inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault in relation to an incident in Dingwell Park, Lurgan on 13 July, 2011. A 26-year-old woman was the victim of repeated rape while a 23-year-old was seriously assaulted.
Speaking after the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Wright, said: “The female victim in this case has waited more than three years for justice and has suffered emotional, physical and mental trauma while the male victim has been left unable to live independently. This was an horrendous attack.” He paid tribute to the ‘stoicism and bravery’ of the two victims.
Jailing Porcikas Judge Patrick Lynch QC said he was satisfied Porcikas was a danger to the public and imposed an extended custodial period. This means the convicted rapist would only be released when it was deemed safe to do so and will also be subject to an extra three years on supervised licence.
Describing his crimes as “gross and persistent” which involved violence, threats and “deliberate humiliation of the victim,” the judge said he had considered a term of discretionary life imprisonment but had concluded that an extended sentence would best protect the public.
At the end of his three week trial last May, the jury deliberated for just over two hours before they unanimously convicted Porcikas, with an address at Upper Edward Street in Newry.
The jury heard how the Lithuanian woman was repeatedly raped, beaten and sexually assaulted during a 12 hour ordeal. Also that while Porcikas and a third man not before the court were raping the woman in the living room of her Lurgan flat, her ex-boyfriend was in the next room after the pair beat him into unconsciousness.
Alongside him in the dock was 23-year-old Vytautas Mikulinas who was convicted on a single charge of causing actual bodily harm to the woman’s ex-partner. He walked free with a one-year conditional discharge.
Judge Lynch described how woman’s ordeal began in the early hours of 13 July 2011 when the three accused, including the two defendants, were involved in a fight with the woman’s ex-partner in the street outside her flat. She managed to get him inside and was lying beside him on the bed when Porcikas and the third man battered the door down and attacked him again.
She told the jury that she tried to escape a few times but was stopped by Porcikas who continued his sexual and physical attacks, threatening her with a knife. The woman fled to a neighbour’s flat but didn’t tell him what had happened and returned to her flat fearing that Porcikas would continue to attack her unconscious boyfriend when she heard her attacker had come back.
The ordeal ended, the jury heard, after Porcikas told the woman he was “going to take her to the forest to rape her” and it was as she was walking down the street that she managed to get help from a passing couple who took her into a local shop and called the police.
Having hid in a forest for a month, Porcikas was arrested and was questioned by police but maintained it was the third man who committed the sexual assaults. On Tuesday, however Judge Lynch revealed that Porcikas now accepted what he had done and that he had told a probation officer it had been hard for him to believe that he was able “to do something like that”.