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Friend of teen alleged to have been raped by four men says she did not think she was in ‘bad state’ when they separated

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A friend of a teenage girl alleged to have been raped “one after another” by four men has told a trial she did not believe her friend was in “a bad state” when they separated because otherwise she would not have left her by herself.

The four men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have all pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the then 17-year-old girl at a location in the midlands on December 27, 2016.

The first accused (22) has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment.

The second accused (24) has also pleaded not  guilty to two counts of sexual assault, one count of oral rape and one count of false imprisonment.

The third defendant (24) has also pleaded not guilty to an additional count of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment. The fourth accused (23) has also pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

All of the offending is alleged to have been committed at various locations in the midlands on the same date against the same woman when the accused were aged between 17 and 19.

The trial is expected to last six weeks and is taking place in Croke Park.

It is the prosecution case that the complainant got into a car with the men in the early hours of the morning and was driven to a location where the four accused and a fifth man not before the courts raped her “one after another”.

Giving evidence today, a friend of the complainant told Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, that she had met with the complainant and two other women on the night of Stephen's Day 2016 and that they went out into a nearby town together.

The woman said they all went to a bar around 10pm and that at one stage her and the complainant were in a toilet cubicle together.

She said the complainant's phone was on the cistern and that when she went to flush, her phone fell into the toilet.

She said after the bar they went to a nightclub at around midnight, but she would have left around 2am when her father drove into town to pick her up. She said she did not have concerns about any of the girls being drunk when she left.

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Colman Cody SC, defending the third defendant, asked the woman if she noticed any problem with the complainant's phone after it dropped into the toilet and whether she saw the complainant using it after that. The woman replied she could not recall.

Another friend of the complainant told Mr Staines that she was also present on the night and remained in the nightclub until it closed.

She said she believed the three remaining friends had dispersed in the nightclub, but that they were all together again afterwards in a fast food restaurant.

The woman said her and the complainant decided to go looking for food together. She said they wanted to go to different places and separated, agreeing to meet outside a taxi company.

After she got her food and was waiting outside the taxi company, she got a phone call from a number she did not recognise.

It was the complainant saying she was in a takeaway and would meet her at the taxi company.

She kept ringing the number, and it kept ringing out until eventually someone answered and told her that the complainant was no longer with them, the witness said.

She  then got a taxi with her other friend and another girl.

She tried to ring the complainant's phone, but it did not even ring.

She said she got a text from another number saying it was the complainant and said she had gotten a shared taxi and was going home.

The woman said she went to sleep because she believed the complainant was in safe hands.

The next morning she had not been contacted by the complainant, but said she had a missed call around 5am from a number she did not recognise.

She said she did not think the complainant was in “a bad state” in terms of being drunk when they separated, because if the complainant had been then she would not have left her by herself.

The trial continues Thursday before Justice Tara Burns and a jury of five women and seven men.


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