Saturday 3 December 2016

Woman found guilty of making false report of rape against 'Pakistani-looking' man

Anne Lucey

Published 25/11/2016 | 22:33

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A 26-year-old woman has been found guilty of making a false report of rape in which a foreign national was implicated.

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Jacinta O'Connor (26), with an address at Steelroe, Killorglin, Co Kerry, was also found guilty of a charge of wasting garda time at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee this afternoon. She had denied both charges.

Following a four day trial, the jury of nine women and three men took under an hour to return a unanimous verdict.

The trial heard a graphic account of the alleged rape given by the woman.

The account amounted to a 14 page statement made by O'Connor to gardai after she was given the statutory warning that any false statement could lead to a prosecution, the trial was told.

O'Connor had told gardai she was raped by a foreign man, whom she described as a "Pakistani-looking" after a night out with friends in Killarney.

The trial heard how O'Connor went to Killarney Garda Station at 4am on September 22, 2014 - Kerry had beaten Donegal in the All-Ireland final the previous evening and she had been out with friends at the Grand Hotel Nightclub in Killarney.

She claimed after she left a nightclub, she was grabbed and pulled to the ground before she was violently raped behind the town's courthouse.

She gave a detailed account of being raped by "a Pakastani looking" man in a green hoodie, the trial heard.

Gardai believed she was sober when she made the detailed complaint at the garda station at 4am.

A female garda was summoned from Cahersiveen in the early hours and she was taken for medical examination to the South Infirmary in Cork.

The following day, she made a formal lengthy statement describing in graphic and stark detail two vaginal rapes and one attempted anal rape.

Gardai launched an investigation and identified a man in a green hoodie, a Czech national, who was captured on CCTV walking behind Ms O’Connor on Plunkett Street at around 3.50 am.

The man was interviewed under caution and denied having any sexual contact with her. He handed over the green hoodie and samples.

However, by  October 4, gardai who harvested CCTV images from around 30 locations, felt they had spotted discrepancies in O’Connor’s account.

O’Connor had left the nightclub with an Irishman, who was known to her and with whom she had a previous relationship.

Shown the images on Oct 10,  she withdrew her complaint and said she was sorry. She told gardai she did have consensual sex with the Irish man whom she knew, and had not been raped by the man in the green hoodie.

She said it happened in an underground car park, a short distance away from the courthouse. She told gardai it had been "rougher" than she had expected, and she was upset, alone and had no way home.

She apologised to gardai and the Czech national.

O'Connor was remanded on bail to January, and Judge Thomas E O'Donnell ordered probation and medical reports for that date.

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