Wednesday 29 January 2020

Two men guilty of gang rape attack on woman

Declan Brennan

TWO men have been found guilty of taking part in a gang rape in the back of a van, after picking up a drunken woman.

The men were aged 16 and 18 at the time of the attack three years ago. A third man, aged just 15 at the time, was found not guilty of the charges.

The guilty men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced in January.

The victim, now aged 34, was drunk after a night out and doesn't remember how she ended up in the back of the van.

The men drove her down a country lane and tried to have sex with her on a mattress.

She could not identify her attackers, except to say that they had "Traveller accents".

There were chaotic scenes when the verdicts were announced as family members of the two men found guilty of the rape shouted that their sons were innocent and that the acquitted man "was the one that did everything".

Mr Justice Paul Carney had two of those who disrupted the court remanded in custody until this morning.

Chaotic

It was the State's case that the men were all guilty of all of the offences.

The three men, now aged 19, 19 and 21, had all pleaded not guilty to four charges relating to the rape and sexual assault of a woman at an unknown location in Cork on September 13, 2009.

The charges of vaginal rape against all three accused were dropped during the trial.

The oldest of the accused was found guilty of sexual assault and attempted rape but not guilty of oral rape.

The other man sobbed as the jury found him guilty of sexual assault, oral rape and attempted rape. Before the trial, he had entered a plea of guilty to stealing the woman's car.

Mr Justice Carney ordered that the two men be declared sex offenders and remanded them in custody.

He added: "From what I've heard in this court over the last two weeks, nobody convicted is going to avoid a substantial custodial sentence by virtue of the Children's Act."

Irish Independent

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