A young woman sleeping with her boyfriend in a single bed woke to find herself being raped by another young man who climbed into the bed.
After almost two-and-a-half hours of deliberations at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, a jury unanimously found the man guilty of raping his friend’s girlfriend.
She described waking up to him raping her as her boyfriend slept beside her at the boyfriend’s house in Co Cork.
The accused was 19 at the time and the victim 21. He denied raping the woman on May 10, 2016.
Mr Justice Michael White remanded the accused in custody until June 4 for sentencing in Dublin. A victim impact report is to be prepared.
On the application of Siobhán Lankford, defending, the judge directed psychiatric and medical reports on the defendant.
In his closing speech, the judge had told the jury of matters that were not in dispute, including that the complainant and her boyfriend were not going out together for very long and that she had first met the defendant that weekend.
All parties were drinking together and the complainant accepted she was fairly drunk when she went to bed. She also had two Xanax — tablets that were prescribed for her.
The judge said that thereafter, there were three quite severe conflicts in the evidence.
The defendant said he did not rape the woman and did not have sexual contact with her. Her evidence was that she felt a pain in her vaginal area as she woke up. She described seeing the accused pulling up his trousers in the room. Her boyfriend also said that he saw this.
Mr Justice White said the second conflict was the sleeping arrangements for the accused. He said he was to sleep head-to-toe with the couple in the single bed. They said he was to sleep downstairs on a couch.
The third conflict concerned an alleged admission. The couple both testified that he admitted the rape moments later. The judge said the defendant claimed that anything he said was only to keep the peace on the morning and that he did not actually carry out the rape. The couple’s evidence was that he made an admission to the effect that he said, “Yeah, I did it, can we get beyond it?”
For the defence, Ms Lankford said the jury could have a reasonable doubt on the evidence. She said the complainant did not feel the accused getting into bed or removing her clothing and the first thing she felt was a pain between her legs. The defence senior counsel said the complainant’s boyfriend said the positions of himself and his girlfriend were the other way around, and that she was sleeping on the outside.
Ms Lankford said that the jury should consider these inconsistencies in the prosecution case.
She also said there were other conflicts within the prosecution, including evidence on what time they went to bed. She said the complainant said they went to bed at around 1am, while her boyfriend put the time as being between 10pm and 11pm.
Ms Lankford said in cross-examination: “At no stage did he put his penis in you?” The complainant replied: “Yes he did… I know what I felt. I know what happened to me. No one is going to make this up, like.”
Ms Lankford said: “You are saying that a third person was able to get into this bed — a single bed. It would simply not have been possible?”
The complainant replied: “That just proves he was not meant to be in the bed.” Ms Lankford said of the accused: “He could not have gotten in.”
The woman replied: “He obviously wormed his way into the bed.”