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Jury fails to reach verdict in case of boy (15) accused of raping young woman at B&B


(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A CENTRAL Criminal Court jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the case of a 15 year old boy who denied raping a young woman at a Kerry B&B during St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The defendant, who is now 17, denied raping the 19 year old woman at an address in Killarney on March 17 2017.

The jury earlier found him not guilty on a count of attempted anal rape following a week long trial.

The defendant said the complainant accompanied him back to his B&B from a pub and nightclub.

He insisted the sexual contact in the B&B that evening was entirely consensual.

However, the young woman said that five other people were in the B&B bedroom - and that she was assaulted by a number of them after she refused to get into bed with the 15 year old.

The assault - which the defendant took no part in - involved the young woman being bitten, punched, kicked and having her hair pulled.

She said she was initially attacked by another young woman who had told her to get into bed with the 15 year old.

The defendant insisted he tried to protect the young woman during the assault - but said it occurred after they had consensual sex and because the complainant had refused to quit a bed in the B&B which another individual had booked and paid for.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott was informed by the jury foreperson that, after six hours and 44 minutes of deliberation over two days, the jury of seven women and five men were unable to agree a verdict.

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The judge discharged the jury and said it was "a very difficult trial with very difficult issues arising."

The defendant - who remained emotionless as the jury confirmed they could not reach a verdict - was remanded on bail to appear before the Central Criminal Court in Dublin next month.

The trial heard that the young woman only agreed to go back to the teen's B&B - after meeting him in a Killarney nightclub while out celebrating St Patrick's Day - when assured that other young women would be present.

She said she thought she was attending a house party.

"I did not consent to have sex," she insisted.

The defendant maintained that while sex did occur that evening, it was entirely consensual.

Det Garda Padraig Doyle told the trial he conducted a forensic examination of a mobile phone belonging to the complainant.

It was found, within the phone's 'sent' folder, that there were a number of messages apparently pleading for help.

The texts found included: 'Help me,' 'I am hurt badly,' 'I need ye,' 'Girlss' and 'I am hurt.'

In a voluntary statement to Gardaí on March 22 2017, the boy maintained the sex was entirely consensual.

He went to Killarney Garda Station, accompanied by his mother, immediately he became aware of the allegation against him.

The teen and his mother told Gardaí he had been linked  to the alleged incident via social media.

He told Gardaí what happened was entirely consensual.

"She was flirting with me (in the nightclub). She was all over me. We went out into the toilets and we were kissing," the defendant told Gardaí in a statement.

The teen had paid for both himself and the young woman to get into a nightclub - and had then bought her a drink in the club.

After returning to his B&B along with another young woman and a man, the defendant insisted the complainant consented to sex.

The trial heard that another young woman and man had gotten into another bed in the bedroom.

Three other individuals later arrived into the B&B room.

"(She/complainant) pulled the blanket over (our) heads. (She) reversed herself into me and whispered: 'Put it into me'. I did it. She was happy with it. She wanted it. It was her will as well," the defendant, who is now 19, told Gardaí.

"She got her groove on - she was mad for it."

The defendant insisted that at one point the complainant was moaning in pleasure - but she said the sound was actually a cry for aid that no-one responded to.

Giving evidence by video-link, the complainant rejected defence suggestions the sex was consensual and rejected the defendant's account to Gardaí of what happened that night.

"That is incorrect. We did not have sex - he raped me," she said.

The complainant disputed his version of events and claimed that, at one point, the defendant had placed his hand over her mouth.

She said she was physically assaulted by others in the B&B bedroom - but not the defendant who took no part in the assault - because she had refused to get into bed with him.

The defendant insisted the row was triggered by her refusal to surrender a bed to the person who had booked it in the B&B.

"You were told: 'get out of the bed.' But you starting calling (another young man) names and said 'No'. (You said): 'F*** off, you bugger - I will be getting out of no bed," defence counsel Colman Cody SC said his client will maintain.

"That is incorrect," the complainant said. "I was raped."

The defendant said he tried to protect the young woman throughout the assault incident.

"(He) told them to stop but they did not stop," Mr Cody SC said.

Eventually, the defendant got out of bed and tried to stop the assault.

The complainant said she had her hair pulled, was bitten on the arm by the other young woman, was punched in the face and stomach and then kicked while lying on the ground.

She claimed she was later lying on the floor between two beds in the B&B bedroom when the defendant stood over her.

She said he unzipped her white pants-type suit, pulled down her underwear and tried but failed to have anal sex with her.

He then had vaginal intercourse with her.

The complainant was assessed at Cork's South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) specialist sexual assault unit because no such facility is in Kerry.

Semen was found in her vagina.

The trial has already heard the defendant voluntarily submitted a DNA sample which matched the semen found.

The jury also viewed extensive CCTV footage from the Killarney nightclub in which the complainant and defendant met.

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