THE jury in the trial of a man accused of raping his 65-year-old mother on Mothers Day has been told they can find him not guilty of rape but guilty of incest.
The 45-year-old Dublin man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman at her home between March 2 and 3, 2008.
The jury of four men and eight women were sent out just before 3pm today.
During three days of evidence the court heard that the accused admitted having sex with his mother on the evening of Mothers Day but he claimed it was consensual and that one thing had “led to another”.
He said he had gone to her house that evening to borrow money but they had a drink together and began dancing. He claimed she told him she loved him and began kissing him on the mouth.
The alleged victim said that she couldn’t remember how she ended up on the floor of her living room but that when she realized her son was having sex with her she told him to “leave me alone”.
Mr Justice Barry White, in charging the jury, said it could find the accused not guilty if it came to the conclusion that an act of intercourse had taken place, that the woman was not consenting but that he believed she was consenting.
The judge told the jurors that they could also consider a verdict under the Punishment of Incest Act 1908 which provides that any man who has carnal knowledge of a woman who is their mother is guilty of an offence.
Mr Justice White said that were therefore three verdicts open to the jury. These are guilty of rape, not guilty of rape but guilty of incest, or simply not guilty.
He said that to prove their case the State must prove that the woman was not consenting and that the accused knew she was not consenting or was reckless as to whether she was consenting or not.
He said that the jury could decide on whether or not there were reasonable grounds for the belief that the woman was consenting.
The jury will resume their deliberations tomorrow.