Sunday 25 August 2019

Man accused of sexually assaulting Tinder date at UCD 'like a monster', woman tells court

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Declan Brennan

A woman has told a court that a man she met through Tinder was like a “monster” when he allegedly attacked her in his car.

The 36-year-old 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, told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that she had come to Ireland to learn English and had arrived the previous month. She said she couldn't speak any English and said she was adding people to her “Tinder website” account to start speaking English.

She met the accused on Tinder on June 29 and they began chatting online. At one point he told her “I only want to fuck you” and she told him: “that was rude, I'm a good person, I'm not a whore”.

Speaking through a translator, the woman told the jury that she became upset at this text from the defendant “because it wasn't my intention”.

The man apologised and the pair continued to chat online on Whatsapp. He repeatedly asked to meet her and suggested they could go for a drive in his car.

At one point the woman said “you just want sex, it makes me scared”. The jury were told the defendant replied “no I don't just want this. I want to meet and be friends too”.

The woman told the jury “It was scaring me, I only wanted to meet someone that could help me improve my English”.

The woman said she did agree to meet the man and they arranged for him to pick her up at her address in Dublin city centre.

She said he looked friendly and was smiling and she got into the car. The court heard he drove them to the campus at UCD but that she didn't know where she was.

She testified that he parked the car near a green area with trees and nobody around. She said she began to feel scared because “we had said we are going for a coffee”.

She said he turned the car engine off and she heard the car doors locking. She said he then became very aggressive.

“He changed completely the way he was talking to me. He was saying a lot of bad words and I couldn’t understand.

“He was looking like a monster. His face wasn't the same face that smiled to me when I got into his car. He was calling me bad names and trying to touch me. I tried to take his hands away, and I couldn't.

“The only word I could say to him, stop stop, I want my house, stop stop,” she said. She said he didn't stop.

She said that he put his hand on her knee and pulled her dress up to her thigh. She said he held her arm and her breast was exposed.

During a struggle she hit him in his face with her elbow and he punched her head, she said. She then managed to take her seatbelt off and unlock the car door, the woman testified.

“I opened the door and shouted for help. He was holding me and he opened his hands. It's like he was afraid of someone hearing my screams.”

She said he drove off leaving her there and a woman out walking helped her get a taxi home. The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of six men and six women.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News