Sunday 25 March 2018

Louth man accused of raping and beating his partner

Conor Gallagher

A LOUTH man has gone on trial for raping his girlfriend and beating her over the course of four hours.

The woman told the court that the accused was enraged because she had slept with someone else a few weeks previously while he was in prison for the weekend.

The court also heard details of a Facebook message from the woman to the accused after the alleged rape, stating she was looking forward to her day in court and telling him he will be in prison in Dublin where she could have him beaten up.

“We’ll see who the walkover is then,” the message added.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to rape with an implement, sexual assault and assault causing harm at the couple’s home in Louth on July 9, 2010.

During cross examination the woman denied she had a drink problem but admitted she had been in trouble with gardai several times for being alcohol related offences. She also denied being charged in relation to an incident where she attacked the accused in a pub because he was “chatting up a girl.”

The Central Criminal Court heard that on the day of the alleged rape, the woman was detained by gardai in relation to an earlier conviction. She said she was released later that day.

That night she and the accused went to a party separately. She told prosecuting counsel Remy Farrell SC that her boyfriend was angry and drunk when she arrived. She said he was going into residential treatment the next week for his drinking problem.

She said she left the party after a while to get more beers from her house. Her boyfriend followed her and an argument broke out between them in the kitchen.

They both went to bed where the accused started giving out to her about someone she slept with several weeks before while they were temporarily broken up. She said he began constantly hitting her and was pulling her around by the hair.

She said he ripped her clothes off saying: “Is this what you want?”

The court heard that this is when the rape occurred. Afterwards she said she was sitting on the stairs when he grabbed her head and banged it off the bannister.

Later that day she was given a lift to a woman’s shelter by the accused’s father. The accused was also in the car at the time and was crying and begging, the woman said.

The woman agreed with defence counsel Hugh Hartnett SC that she stayed in contact with the accused after the incident and that she would phone him regularly. She also said they made plans to live together on a part-time basis if he gave up alcohol.

When presented with the Facebook message, the women replied: “I’d a lot of people offering to beat up (the accused).”

She denied starting the fight with her boyfriend after the party and rejected a suggestion that she is “emotionally volatile.”

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

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