A MIDDLE-AGED man has gone on trial by judge and jury accused of sexually assaulting his adult daughter on Christmas Eve night.
The complainant, who was 19 at the time, wept as she described the allegation she made in the trial. Her father, who was 50 at the time, pleaded not guilty to the single charge of sexually assaulting her on the night/early hours of December 25, 2017.
There is a prohibition on identifying the parties, who are from Co Cork.
“I had a few glasses of wine preparing dinner. We were calling to neighbours — I would have had more wine. It was a normal Christmas night.
“I had wine and prosecco. I would say I was drunk, I was very merry. He [her father, the defendant] was drunk as well. We were having a good time,” she told Judge Helen Boyle and the four women and eight men of the jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
She said they turned on the television when they got home, but were too tired to watch it.
She said she always got new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and she recalled putting the new pyjamas on, going to her own bedroom, and going to sleep.
Prosecution barrister Imelda Kelly asked her what she remembered next.
“I just remember waking up and feeling someone’s fingers in me. My pants was down and my underwear was down. I turned around and saw my dad in the bed. I remember feeling someone’s fingers in me. I woke up to feel his fingers inside me — in my vagina. I pulled his hand out of my pants and I ran out the door, out the front of the house. I was roaring crying. I remember hiding behind the wall and it was raining.
“He [her father] came to the door and said, ‘I was sleeping, I was sleeping. I didn’t mean it.’ I told him to get away from me. He told me to stop making a scene.”
She said she went into the house, got her phone and handbag, put on her coat, and left. She then phoned a number of friends.
She sent one text stating: “Dad touched me. I don’t feel safe here.”
She made a complaint to gardaí on Christmas morning.
At the outset of cross-examination, defence barrister Mark Lynam said: “My client vehemently denies that he sexually assaulted you. He denies being in your bed. He denies coming to your room in the middle of the night. He says it is completely untrue.”
Mr Lynam suggested that the complainant was not in a position to say what was true and untrue because she was drunk after consuming three bottles of wine and that, in previous days, she had some cannabis and cocaine.
The complainant replied: “I know what is right. I know what happened. I will sit here all day long and tell you that.”
As for the wine, she said: “I don’t know about three bottles.”
Mr Lynam said he was not trying to blacken her with reference to intoxicants, but it was relevant in terms of her ability to remember.
Mr Lynam said there was, in the background, an ongoing argument at the time over a dog. The complainant said that, if it was over a dog, she would have taken the dog with her when she left, but did not do so.
The trial continues.