Thursday 22 August 2019

I thought he was going to rape me, Tinder trial hears

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Stock picture

Declan Brennan

A woman who alleges a man she met through Tinder attacked her in a car said she thought he was going to rape her, a court has heard.

The 36-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the foreign national at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin, on July 23, 2014.

The woman, now aged 35, had told the trial that after some weeks of communicating with the man on the Tinder dating platform she agreed to meet him.

The man picked her up in his car and drove her to a green area on the campus. The woman testified that he then "changed completely", becoming aggressive and sexually assaulting her.

On day four of the trial the jury was given details of statements the complainant made to gardaí after the alleged attack.


The woman told gardaí once the man parked the car she was in fear because there was nobody around.

She told gardaí: "I thought we were going for coffee. He leaned over and placed his hand at the back of my neck. He touched the side of my legs.

"He was shouting at me, you f****** bitch. He was angry. I was in fear of my life. I thought he was going to rape me. I tried to open the doors but they were locked.

"He was trying to restrain me by holding one of my arms."

After playing CCTV footage with time stamps, Paul Flannery SC, defending, said that the car was only up there for around one minute. He put it to the complainant that her version of events could not have occurred in that short time.

The woman replied "yes it did" and added that "less than one minute you try to fight against someone stronger than you is a lot of time".

The complainant, an English language student, earlier told counsel that statements by the accused that they were meeting up for sex were "completely crazy".

"I never said to him I wanted to have sex with him. Not on Tinder. Not on WhatsApp.

"I was 32. If I wanted sex I wouldn't have said 'go for a coffee'. I would have said go to hotel or his room. At 32 you don't have sex in cars," she told the court.

Mr Flannery put it to her that topless photos of the defendant on his Tinder profile were "sexual poses".

She said she didn't agree.

Counsel also put it to her that photos on her profile "have a bit of a sexy look about them".

She said they were professional shots of her modelling jewellery.

She denied that she was using the Tinder app to get sex.

Earlier this week, the woman told Mr Flannery that when she arrived in Ireland to learn English she went on Tinder to meet Irish people.

She said she knew that Tinder was used by some people to have consensual casual sex but that her motive was to practice English. She said she never told the accused she would have sex with him.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of six men and six women.

Irish Independent

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