A man has gone on trial for the alleged rape and sexual abuse of a woman in a Belfast gay club in 2010.

Francis Airis Eliason, 31, told Belfast Crown Court that he did have sex with the woman, but that it was consensual.

The woman visited the Kremlin nightclub in Belfast city centre with a male friend on 10 September 2010. While her friend was talking to others at the bar, the woman was joined by Mr Eliason and the two went to the dancefloor.

The court heard that the pair kissed while they danced and there was some consensual sexual touching. The defendant suggested going outside to smoke, but the woman did not want to.

It is alleged that Mr Eliason took her by the wrist and led her down a corridor into a small cloakroom.  He then allegedly raped and sexually abused her twice. The prosecution barrister said the woman would tell the court “she did not want this to happen, but that in essence, she froze.”

Upon returning to the main club area she told her friend what had happened, before alerting the venue’s staff and the police.

Mr Eliason, from Anterim Road in North Belfast, denies a total of four charges, including two counts of rape.

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