Limerick gardai believe a man who was arrested at Dublin Airport trying to board a flight to Morocco was trying to leave the country to avoid pending rape charges.
The 26-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was refused bail after he was charged with two counts of raping the woman at an apartment in Limerick city centre last summer.
The offences are alleged to have happened over several hours at the man’s then home on July 8, 2013.
During a contested bail hearing, Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told directions were received from the Director of Public Prosecutions in recent weeks but that gardai had been unable to locate the defendant.
Detective Garda Ivan Muldoon said he called to the home of the accused man on several occasions and that he also met with people he associates with and informed them he was looking to locate him.
The Court was told the accused man, who is originally from Ivory Coast, was detained at Dublin Airport in the early hours of last Friday morning.
When he presented at the boarding gate, it was discovered the flight tickets had been bought with a “compromised United States credit card,” which could not be explained by the defendant.
Det Garda Muldoon said he believed the suspect was aware that gardai had been seeking him for several weeks and that he was attempting to flee the jurisdiction.
“I believe he knew I was looking for him, I believe that’s why he was leaving the country,” he said.
In his evidence, the accused man denied this saying he had intended travelling to Morocco for four days to buy clothing for the upcoming Muslim Ramadan. “I was not running away,” he said.
Judge O’Kelly said the fact the defendant had bought tickets within two weeks of gardai receiving directions to charge him was “too great a coincidence to displace the inference he was trying to flee.”.
He refused bail.