Tuesday 21 January 2020

Man who allegedly raped his friend 'likely had full mental capacity at the time' - says expert

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Conor Gallagher

A man who claims he acting in his sleep when he allegedly raped his friend likely had full mental capacity at the time an expert has said.

It is the defence case that although the incident did occur, the man was suffering at the time from a condition known as “sexsomnia” and this caused him to carry out sexual acts in his sleep.

The 29-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of raping the woman at an apartment in Dublin in the early hours of September 28, 2008.

A sleep expert for the defence has already testified that the man was likely acting in his sleep when the woman was raped. The jury had also heard evidence of previous instances where he tried to carry out sexual acts on people in bed next to him.

On Monday the prosecution called Dr Harry Kennedy, clinical director of the Central Mental Hospital, as a rebuttal expert witness.

Dr Kennedy recapped the events of the night as detailed in the book of evidence. The woman said she woke to the accused having sex with her. She had been wearing a pencil skirt which was pulled up and her underwear had been pulled aside.

The doctor said this did not appear to have been accidental and “demonstrates full intact mentally capacity at material time” on the part of the accused.

He also noted the woman's contention that during the incident the accused's penis had come out of her vagina and he had taken told of it and put it back in.

“If this is accepted as factual, this demonstrates the capacity to perceive, act purposefully and form intent.” Dr Kennedy said.

The trial continues with Dr Kenndy's evidence on Tuesday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

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