A Limerick woman who claimed she was raped repeatedly as a child by her brother who was several years older described lying back on his bed and pressing the bubbles on the wallpaper when it was happening.
A jury of six men and six women unanimously found him guilty of one count of rape.
On eight other rape charges on the same indictment they found him not guilty today after almost seven hours of deliberation at the end of a trial which had gone on throughout last week before Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
The defendant cried in the dock and he was remanded in custody for sentencing on January 25 2021. The 48-year-old denied nine counts of raping his younger sister approximately 30 years ago. She was supported in court by her husband.
Questioned by gardaí about the allegations which date back to 1989 to 1991, the 48-year-old described himself as “a mammy’s boy” who had a good upbringing and that his parents were very strict.
“You never brought a guard to the door and you always have respect for your elders, never allowed to touch or hit your sisters. The doors (of the bedrooms) were always open. My father taught us not to touch our sisters.”
The first allegation made by his sister was put to him by investigating gardaí, that when he was aged about 17 and she was 8 or 9, he allegedly called her to his bedroom.
“She said you told her to lie down on your bed and see if this hurts,” the guard stated on the memo of interview.
He replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You lifted her skirt, took down her underwear and inserted your penis,” the garda said.
He replied, “That never happened. I would not do that kind of thing to my sister. I am not that kind of person.”
“She said it felt like it went on forever and you ejaculated,” the guard said.
The accused said, “No. Jesus, no.”
“How did you feel engaging in sexual intercourse with your sister when you were 17 to 19 and she was 7 to 9? On your bed you would insert your penis in to her vagina. You would push your penis in and out. She would just look at the other bed or press bubbles on the wallpaper,” the garda suggested.
The defendant denied this ever occurring and said, “This is all new to me. I love my family. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Evidence that the defendant’s brother walked into the room during one disputed incident and said he was going to tell their mother was put to the accused at interview. He said that what his brother said could not be believed.
The defendant’s other sister said she walked into the room another time and her younger sister – the complainant who was 8 or 9 at the time – was lying on top of the defendant and the he had “his hand on her bum”. The witness said she asked her brother what was going on and that he said, “What is your problem? There is nothing going on. That’s your dirty mind.”
Asked about this by the gardaí the defendant said, “I don’t recall saying that.”
Commenting generally about the allegations the accused man said, “Nothing happened. I love my sister. I would not let any harm come to any of my sisters.”
Prosecution senior counsel Patrick McGrath said in his address to the jury that the evidence of the brother and sister who described witnessing the complainant in the defendant’s bedroom and he commented, “What these witnesses suggest is that yes, the accused man was alone in the house, yes he was behind closed door with (complainant) and yes, he was angry and aggressive when challenged. It supports (complainant’s) description of events.”
Defence senior counsel Mark Nicholas said, “The defence is that this just did not happen. That is the position taken from the beginning, from the moment the garda car rolled up to his house out of the blue. He said this never happened. It is not a recent kind of position that is being adopted.
“You have not heard evidence of nine discrete separate events. You have heard what she describes as the first event and that this is what happened once a week for two years. And this casually became double that (when she said once or twice a week) from 100 to 200. That is the allegation, that it was unremitting. That is the story you must stress-test.”