Wednesday 13 December 2017

'My daughter is not a rapist or a lesbian'

Anne Marie O'Loughlin
Anne Marie O'Loughlin reporters

The father of an Irish nurse who has been released from an Australian jail pending a retrial on rape charges, spoke today of his relief and his belief in the innocence of his daughter.

Farmer Shay O’Loughlin of Edenderry, Co Offaly, said that the conviction of his daughter Anne Marie (26) in February was a “horrible nightmare” and said he “wouldn’t wish it on anyone”.

O'Loughlin (26), who had been working in Brisbane, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for raping the married woman in the hotel when she was found guilty on two counts of digital rape and one of deprivation of liberty at the hotel on November 29, 2009.

She was found not guilty of a fourth charge of sexual assault, but appealed on the grounds the verdicts were unsafe and unsatisfactory and that the judge misdirected the jury on a key issue.

In a unanimous judgment, the Queensland Court of Appeal set aside the convictions and ordered a new trial, releasing her on conditional bail.

“I know my daughter is no rapist and she is not a lesbian,” her father Shay, from Fann, Edenderry told John Murray on RTE Radio 1 today.

“We are very confident that Anne Marie will be cleared in a retrial. “We know her and her friends know her. The truth will out in the end. There’s downers in life and you have to get on and fight them. Good comes to the top eventually.

"She is in great form, she was quite emotional when she got the word. She is very physically and mentally strong, she is very well through it all. She was drinking a cup of Barry's Tea when I was talking to her. She said she never tasted anything like it," said Shay, who has campaigned tirelessly for his daughter.

She will have to remain in Australia for the retrial, which is listed for August 22, and if acquitted on the charges she will be immediately deported as her visa has expired.

“The support she had received has been wonderful,” her father said today. “Good people give their support and are prepared to stand up”.

Outside court in Brisbane on Friday her solicitor, Neil Lawler, said his client was keen to have the matter resolved so she could return to Ireland.

The five-day trial in February heard O'Loughlin attacked the 32-year-old woman in the female toilets of the hotel.

The victim, who cannot be named, told the court she kissed O'Loughlin in the toilets for up to three minutes. But she insisted she had not given consent for O'Loughlin to pull up her top and bra and touch her breast.

She further claimed she had not consented to being digitally penetrated by O'Loughlin. Taking into account the time served awaiting the trial in February, the nurse would have been due for release on parole in March of next year.

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