Burke was brought before a special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning accused of committing the offences in the Lawrence Hill area of the city on Wednesday evening.
The court heard that after bursting into the home of a woman aged in her 80s, Burke grabbed her by the throat and dragged her from room to room while she continued to fight back.
The defendant, who was placed on the Sex Offenders Register in 2003 until 2059, is alleged to have committed the offences when out on licence from prison. He has 98 previous criminal convictions, among them three for rape, one for indecent assault and five for kidnapping, the court was told.
A detective constable told the court that the defendant burst into the woman’s home after she answered a knock on her front door just after 8.30 p.m.
“He grabbed her by the throat and dragged her around the house. He dragged her from room to room and when dragging her upstairs the woman managed to break free. She put up quite a struggle and ran towards the front door in a bid to escape but he grabbed her from behind and slammed the door shut. She continued to fight back”, the police witness said.
The defendant, who denies the charges, was remanded in custody until June 11 to appear in court by video link. District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant had an horrific record.
“This clearly was a frightening experience for this elderly lady and no doubt she is extremely concerned that attempts may be made to dissuade her from giving evidence. Your record includes convictions for similar offences. You have been identified by this lady and the police are now waiting for forensic evidence. Anyone convicted of these offences, with a record like yours, will be facing an indeterminate sentence”, he said.
“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”