Travelling salesman has appeal against Cork rape conviction dismissed

Travelling salesman has appeal against Cork rape conviction dismissed

A travelling salesman has had an appeal against his conviction for the rape of a female assistant following a visit to a fair in Co Cork six years ago dismissed. Picture: iStock

A travelling salesman has had an appeal against his conviction for the rape of a female assistant following a visit to a fair in Co Cork six years ago dismissed.

The Court of Appeal ruled there was no basis to the three grounds of appeal raised by lawyers for the 56-year-old trader to try and overturn his conviction.

Lawyers for the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, claimed text messages of a sexual nature between their client, his victim and another female employee around the time of the offence should not have been admitted in evidence.

The appellant, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced to five years in prison in October 2018 by Mr Justice Paul McDermott after a jury at the Central Criminal Court found him guilty by a majority verdict of raping a 24-year-old mother of one in a camper van at a location in Co Cork on August 2, 2015.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a separate charge of rape of the same woman a few hours earlier on the same date.

The Court of Appeal said the text messages, which the man had claimed were merely sexual banter and only a “wind up”, had evidential value in proving the appellant’s intention to have intercourse with his employee.

In the court’s ruling , Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy with Mr Justice George Birmingham, presiding and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the appellant had also not met the threshold to quash his conviction on the basis it was perverse given the jury had not been able to reach a verdict on the second charge of rape.

Claims that the trial judge had provided an “unbalanced” charge to the jury were also dismissed as Ms Justice Kennedy said it had been “impeccable” as well as being “balanced and thoughtful.”

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