Rape trial jury sees CCTV footage of man and woman in laneway

Rape trial jury sees CCTV footage of man and woman in laneway
The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork.

THE jury in the trial of a man accused of raping a young woman in a laneway in Cork city viewed CCTV of a man and woman walking into the lane together and going in behind a parked van.

Much of today's evidence was given without commentary from the garda sergeant who compiled the video evidence or from lawyers in the case.

Earlier in the proceedings, the four women and eight men of the jury were absent from the courtroom for legal discussion. Mr Justice Alexander Owens told them on their return that some logistical issues in relation to the CCTV had to be dealt with before it could be shown to them.

Sgt John O’Connell testified that when gardaí became aware of an alleged rape on February 17, 2017, he went around to business and residential premises that might have had relevant footage. This was edited and put together with CCTV from Garda street cameras.

Mr Justice Owens asked the sergeant to point out what he deemed significant in the footage of the street scenes.

Sgt O’Connell drew the jury’s attention to “a lady in a pink playsuit” who was seen walking alone on a number of busy city centre streets and in two fast-food outlets in the early hours of the morning.

He also drew the jury’s attention to separate images of “a male with a red coat and white stripe”.

He was seen walking alone.

At 3.30am, the woman in pink and the man in the red jacket appeared walking together on a main street before turning on to a narrow laneway where they walked in behind a white van.

Footage from a camera on that lane showed them entering the laneway and going behind the van. Approximately 30 minutes later a man is seen walking out from behind the van and walking out of the laneway alone.

The defendant who is in his twenties denies two counts of raping the young woman on February 17, 2017, in a laneway in Cork.

The woman said to gardaí who asked her what happened, “that I could not remember but I thought something of a sexual nature happened to me because I could feel pain in my vagina”.

She also had bruising to her left breast and grazing of her knees.

Garda Linda O’Keeffe arrived at the scene and said the young woman was semi-clothed, very incoherent, had a strong smell of alcohol and appeared distressed.

Garda O’Keeffe said: “She told me she had sex with a male down the lane and he just walked off. She said she met with a male or possibly three males.”

Garda Paula Twiss said the young woman alleged: “She went down the laneway with three males… and said she had sex with either two or three of the males… She did not want to do it but she did not ask them to stop.”

The trial continues on Friday.

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