Cork court: Man on trial for rape and sexual assault of sister over three-year period

Cork court: Man on trial for rape and sexual assault of sister over three-year period

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all 28 counts on the indictment and is on trial before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of nine men and three women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork. Picture: iStock

A woman told a jury at the Central Criminal Court she was sexually abused so many times as a child by her older brother that she was programmed to do it – “I was like a robot.” 

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all 28 counts on the indictment and is on trial before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of nine men and three women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork. 22 counts are for rape, four are for sexual assault and two counts are for oral or anal rape and are mostly related to a period from November 1995 to November 1998.

Siobhán Lankford prosecution senior counsel said it was alleged that rapes were committed at various locations around the family home, including the kitchen, a bedroom, the sitting room and a shed.

The complainant is now 35 and the defendant is 41. They were respectively 9 to 12 and 15 to 18 at the relevant times.

Complainant broke down

The complainant broke down in tears frequently during her direct examination and cross-examination. 

The complainant said, “I remember saying why is he doing it to me when he has a girlfriend.” 

Asked by defence senior counsel Blaise O’Carroll about the 28 counts, the complainant said, “I didn’t make up the charges that he should be charged with. It happened hundreds of times. I cannot even remember the first time it was so many times I was so programmed to do it. 

"It was like a normal thing I had to do all the time. No child should have to do this as a normal thing. I was so programmed to do it I was like a robot.” 

The complainant said that her brother apologised to her when she was 21 and said, “Every time you got into trouble I felt bad because it was my fault… He said to me it is the first and last thing that he thinks about in bed. He never denied anything and he is here today denying everything.” 

Mr O’Carroll senior counsel said, “He gives a different timeline for the sexual play going on between himself and yourself.” The complainant replied, “The sexual play. Is that what you just said? I was a child, man.” Mr O’Carroll said in respect of that description, “From his (the defendant’s) perspective.” 

The complainant said, “He never denied it to any of my family. He has admitted it to everyone in my family – he never denied it.” 

Mr O’Carroll SC asked, “What did he accept?" The complainant replied, “What he done – he apologised for it.” Mr O’Carroll asked, “When did he acknowledge that he raped you?” She replied, “He acknowledged what he done. He said he would leave the country. He said he would go to the guards. Now he is sitting here denying everything.” 

The defence senior counsel asked if the defendant had allegedly made admissions to the complainant, “what is he doing here pleading not guilty?” The complainant replied, “You tell me, you are his lawyer.” 

Complainant told her mother at 18

She said that at the age of 18 she told her mother that her brother was at her. 

“Every day my mother used to say you are the worst child I ever had. I had to tell my mum why I was like this. 

"I told her so something would be done about it. But nothing at all was done. It was brushed under the carpet.” 

 The mother of the defendant and complainant said, “They were all well cared for or I thought they were anyway.” 

She also said of the complainant, “She didn’t tell us only that she was abused. She didn’t tell us any details. She was 18 and she knew we were upset, I suppose.” 

An older sister of both parties said that on a night when her sister was 11 and her brother 17 in May 1998, she heard the complaint shout and she went to the room and found the door was locked. She said her brother was in the room and that he said he too heard the scream too and got into the room by a balcony through her bedroom window. The witness said her brother then left the house and drove away.

The trial continues.

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Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

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