Friday 24 November 2017

Man accused of raping woman after claiming he was gay to win her trust

Conor Gallagher

THE trial of a Westmeath man accused of raping a woman after claiming to be gay has reached its closing stages.

The man is alleged to have convinced the woman to come back to his apartment by saying there was a party there. He denied to gardai she told him she was a lesbian in the nightclub and that he said he was gay to win her trust.

The 46-year-old has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment and making threats to kill at his Westmeath home on January 08, 2010.

On the final day of evidence the jury were shown CCTV footage of the accused and the woman leaving the nightclub together. Defence counsel Bernard Condon SC said the pair could be clearly seen on the footage as they walked out the front door and down the street. This was not challenged by the prosecution.

The court also heard from several witnesses who said they were out with the alleged victim on the night but before she went to the nightclub.

One female friend told prosecuting counsel Patrick Marinan SC that she was in a pub with the woman before she went to the nightclub. She said the alleged victim was drinking pints of beer but not drinking heavily. She said at closing time the woman "went up the road" and she went to her boyfriends.

Evidence has concluded and the jury have begun hearing closing speeches from prosecution and defence counsel and will begin their deliberations tomorrow after hearing a summing up of the evidence from Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.

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