Tuesday 21 February 2017

Man accused of raping woman with Down syndrome accuses alleged victim of lying

Conor Gallagher

Published 10/12/2015 | 17:23

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A man accused of raping a woman with Down syndrome has accused the alleged victim of lying about what happened between them.

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The 34-year-old Pakistani national told the Central Criminal Court that the woman came back to his house willingly after he met her on the street and that they had consensual sexual activity but not penetrative sex.

During a lengthy and halting cross-examination Mr Justice Tony Hunt appeared increasingly frustrated when the accused repeatedly failed to answer the questions put to him. The accused gave his evidence in English with an interpreter sitting beside him to clarify certain phrases.

During a break in evidence Mr Justice Hunt told the jury that he was an impatient man and getting more so with age. He told jurors that they must ignore it if he seemed to be getting impatient with the accused.

It is the prosecution case that the man lured the woman off the street after she became separated from her mother before bringing her back to his house and raping her. The trial has heard evidence that the woman is incapable of living independently or of protecting herself from serious exploitation, which is the test for mental disability under the Sexual Offences Act 1993.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on June 12, 2013.

During cross-examination by prosecuting counsel Caroline Biggs SC the accused repeated his denials that he raped the woman or that he knew she was mentally disabled. He said her version of events was wrong and that she was lying.

He also rejected a suggestion that he had observed the woman walking her normal route before and that he was able to take her back to his house along a specific route that doesn’t have any CCTV cameras on it.

The defence presented evidence from engineer John McGlinchey that it would be misleading to suggest the accused deliberately took her along a route with no CCTV cameras.

The engineer said there was a camera along the route which gardaí appear to have missed and that there were other routes with no camera which the accused could have taken if that was his intention. Mr McGlinchey conceded that he couldn’t say if the camera was there at the time of the alleged rape.

When the accused was asked why he “lied” to gardaí in telling them he had no sexual contact whatsoever with the woman on June 12, 2013, he replied: “I just ignore them. I did not talk to them about this case anything (sic).”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of six men and six women.

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