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I tried to escape but he caught me - rape trial told

A WOMAN who says she was followed by a stranger on her way home from the gym, has told how she tried to get away before he caught her and allegedly subjected her to a brutal rape.

The 37-year-old crossed the road repeatedly in an attempt to keep safe when she realised the stranger was following her, but he kept crossing behind her, the woman said.

But the stranger caught her, beat her head and face and warned, "shut up or I'll kill you" as he dragged her back across the road through the gates of a presbytery, a jury heard.

The man has pleaded not guilty to rape, anal rape, oral rape and threats to kill along with six counts of sex assault on August 8, 2008. He has pleaded guilty to a further count of assault causing harm.

The alleged victim told the Central Criminal Court that as she passed the man on her way home she heard him say a sentence with the word "sexy".

The court was told she tried to shake him off by crossing the road several times but he caught her and dragged her into the back garden of the presbytery.

She said the man pulled her tops over her head, grabbed her jeans at the ankles, hauled them and her shoes off and lay on top of her fully clothed where she'd fallen backwards on the grass.

He kissed her mouth and touched her "everywhere" before getting up and dragging her by the ankles to some bushes at the corner of the garden.

In her statement the woman said she could smell alcohol on the stranger's breath as he lay on top of her.

She said she screamed several times and he threatened to kill her each time she screamed. She felt her face swelling after the man had slapped her "very hard".

"I was really frightened, I remember I was trembling, I wasn't even able to cry properly," the court heard.

She said the man then unfastened his trousers and performed oral and anal sex on her.

She said he raised his head after about half a minute and she realised someone was coming because she saw "some sort of light".

At that point the man stood up, pulled up his trousers, told her not to move and then leaped over the fence out of the garden.

The woman told the court she saw a man coming towards her with a torch but did not know at the time it was a garda. She got up and ran naked towards the presbytery gates where there were more gardai.

The woman said she was given a jacket to wear and taken by car to Rotunda Hospital's sex assault unit for examination before being brought to St James's Hospital to treat her injured face.

The court heard how the woman's nose was almost broken and her face extensively bruised.

The court heard that there would also be evidence that one passerby phoned gardai when he saw the struggle on the road.

Others made further calls when they spotted the woman's handbag, gym bag and umbrella strewn across the pavement where she was grabbed.

The jury heard that garda witnesses will give evidence that they chased the man, caught him after a brief "tussle" and arrested him.

The jury would hear forensic evidence from the woman's medical examinations and from garda scene preservers who located the woman's clothes.