Monday 20 November 2017

I was high during rape statement, woman tells court

Kathryn Hayes

A YOUNG mother has claimed she was "high on drugs" when she made a 30-page statement to gardai in which she alleged she was repeatedly raped and held against her will for more than six days.

The evidence was heard during a bail hearing for a 33-year-old man who is facing multiple charges of raping and assaulting the woman in Limerick.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between May 3 and 9 last at three different addresses in Limerick city.

The 33-year-old is charged with 34 rape offences, seven counts of falsely imprisoning the woman, five counts of assaulting her causing her harm and two charges of sexually assaulting her.

During a bail hearing at Limerick District Court yesterday, Detective Garda Keith Harmon told the court that he took the original statement of complaint from the alleged injured party, which was 30 pages long.

VEHICLE

In her statement, the woman alleges she was forced from a taxi by the accused and into another vehicle and held against her will at an address in Limerick for six days, where she was raped and assaulted.

On May 3 it is alleged the accused "allowed her to visit" her one-year-old child at another address where she was severely assaulted and beaten on both legs with a shovel.

Transcripts of phone calls between the accused man and a relative were also read out during the court hearing in which the accused instructs the other man to "camp outside" where the alleged victim was staying if he had to.

In his evidence, Detective Garda Pat Whelan told the court he was approached by a close friend of the alleged victim last week who said the young mother had been put under "massive pressure" from people associated with the accused man to tell gardai what she had said in her statement was lies.

PROXIMITY

Det Gda Whelan said the young woman was also instructed on how to behave in court and told to sit in close proximity to the accused.

Defence solicitor John Devane said a letter from the alleged victim indicating she wished to withdraw her statement was sent to gardai before the file was forwarded to the DPP.

Mr Devane claimed the young mother, who was present in court yesterday, had previously approached him outside the court and told him "everything she said was lies".

When she was called to give evidence, the young woman insisted she was not in fear for her life and said she was "high on drugs" when she made her statement to gardai.

After the lengthy bail hearing, Judge Eugene O'Kelly refused the bail application and remanded the accused in custody until September 24 next.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News