Cork court: Trial of man accused of rape and sexual assault of sister over three-year period continues

Cork court: Trial of man accused of rape and sexual assault of sister over three-year period continues

A man on trial for raping and sexually assaulting his younger sister said “a certain amount” happened when he was aged around 11 to 13 but he told investigating gardaí, “I swear on my life I never had sex with her.” Picture: iStock

A man on trial for raping and sexually assaulting his younger sister said “a certain amount” happened when he was aged around 11 to 13 but he told investigating gardaí, “I swear on my life I never had sex with her.” 

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 mostly related to a period from November 1995 to November 1998 when she was 9 to 12 and he was 15 to 18.

A memo of an interview of the accused by Detective Sergeant John O’Connell was read to the jury. To a preliminary question about his awareness of the case and anything he might wish to say, he replied, “What happened is different to what (she) is saying. My events happened at an earlier age for me. I spoke to (name) and apologised. We discussed what happened and she had different experiences than what I had.” 

The defendant said that in his account of what allegedly happened that he was in sixth class and aged around 11 and he added, “I suppose our family wasn’t a prude family – there was a lot of pornography floating around. I suppose I was just curious.” 

He said he would ask his sister to show him her bottom and her vagina and he would look at them and touch them. He said this only happened a few times.

“I never forced her. I never raped her, as in forcing someone. I never forced her,” he said.

He told gardaí it stopped when he was 12 or 13 because he got a fright when he heard of another brother and sister being ‘caught’ and two other boys in secondary school being ‘caught’ too.

He said he tried to put his penis in his sister’s mouth but she would not open her mouth. He said he was simulating anal sex without penetration.

At one stage in the interview, he said the activities went on over a period of two or three years but later said he wasn’t sure of the timeline, saying, “I tried to forget this too.” 

When details of alleged sexual intercourse with his sister were put to him from her statement of complaint, he said, “I swear on my life I never had sex with her.” 

He said it all stopped long before she said it stopped, and that it did not happen after he was 12 or 13. He commented, “16 is too old.” 

He said, “It kills me when I think of what happened. I have apologised to her. I did a certain amount but I didn’t finger her or have sex with her.

“She’s making me out to be really bad. My problem is when I start talking I say things that I think and then it’s all down in writing.” 

The complainant is now 35 and the defendant is 41.

The complainant testified, “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 trial continues.

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