Friday 23 March 2018

Alleged rape victims denies asking victim’s mother for PlayStation

Conor Gallagher

A LOUTH woman who was allegedly raped by her boyfriend has denied asking his mother for a holiday and a PlayStation after the incident.

The Central Criminal Court also heard that in the weeks after the alleged rape the woman tried to save their relationship and had spent the night with the accused. She told defence counsel that she decided to press ahead with the charges after the accused found a new partner and failed to stop drinking.

In other evidence, a friend of the woman told the court she said on Facebook that she didn’t think a rape had occurred. The trial has previously heard evidence that the alleged victim also used Facebook to threaten the accused that he would be beaten up while in prison.

The man is alleged to have beaten the woman throughout the night and to have used his inhaler to rape her. He has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to rape with an implement, sexual assault and assault causing harm at the couple’s home in Louth on July 9, 2010.

Defence counsel Hugh Hartnett SC put it to the alleged victim that she visited the family home of the accused several times after the incident and demanded a holiday in Turkey and a PlayStation. He also said that the accused’s mother eventually went to gardai to complain of being harassed by the complainant.

The woman agreed that the mother went to gardai but “only when she realised I wasn’t dropping the charges (against the accused).” She denied asking her for a holiday or games console and said it was the mother who offered her a holiday if she agreed to drop the charges.

The woman rejected a accusation by counsel that: “You sometimes say the first thing that comes into your head and you’re not a very reliable witness.”

She agreed she spent one night with the accused after making the allegations. She said she wanted to try save the relationship but this didn’t happen because the accused didn’t give up alcohol.

She also agreed he found a new partner several weeks later and that it was at this stage that she said she was going ahead with the charges. However she added that she probably said it on previous occasions as well.

The woman went on to say the gardai were handling the prosecution and she would still be in court today even if she and the accused had remained together. She agreed with counsel that it would be difficult returning home with the accused every day of the trial but that she would still give evidence because “God is a witness.”

A friend of the woman told prosecuting counsel Remy Farrell SC that the complainant called to her door in a dishevelled state after the alleged attack. She said when she went to pick up clothes from her friend’s house she saw clumps of hair and glass on the ground.

The court heard a transcript of a Facebook conversation between the complainant’s friend and another woman during which the friend calls the alleged victim “a nut job” who “only gives a fuck about herself.”

“I was summoned as a witness and I don’t want to go because I don’t believe her either,” the witness said on Facebook. “She went back to him afterwards and I will say that in court. It’s a load of bollix.”

The witness agreed she wrote this but said that the conversation with the other party had “clearly been set up by her” and that it was the other woman who first mentioned the word “rape”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.

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