A jury finally reached unanimous guilty verdicts in the case against a 41-year-old Cork man who denied raping his younger sister over a three-year period.
The nine women and three men of the jury commenced their deliberations on Thursday afternoon, deliberated throughout Friday with no verdict, resumed their deliberations this morning and returned to the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork this afternoon with their decisions.
The victim wept in her seat in the back row of Courtroom 6 when the guilty verdicts were delivered. She was aged between nine and 12 at the time of the rapes and sexual assaults. Her brother was aged from 15 to 18. She is now 35.
The accused stared towards the floor as the 23 unanimous guilty verdicts were handed down. On one further count there was a 10-2 majority guilty verdict. And only on one count – the 25th on the indictment - was there a not guilty verdict.
Prosecution senior counsel Siobhán Lankford said: “The matter should now go back for sentence. The State would be applying to revoke his bail.”
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned sentencing until November 29 and the judge said that the Central Criminal Court would sit in Cork again for the sentencing hearing.
Turning directly to the accused man, the judge said: “You have been convicted by the jury on all but one of the counts. I am going to remand you in custody.”
The accused embraced his wife before he was taken into custody.
Ms Lankford said a victim impact statement would be available at the sentencing.
The judge thanked the jury for their attention to the case and excused them from further jury service for the next 10 years, should they be selected to attend.
The victim said that whatever the number of rape charges on the indictment she was raped by her brother almost on a daily basis for three years.
She had said: “I remember saying why is he doing it to me when he has a girlfriend?... It happened hundreds of times.
No child should have to do this as a normal thing. I was so programmed to do it I was like a robot.
Defence senior counsel, Blaise O’Carroll, said during cross-examination: “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.”
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.
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.”
The accused told Detective Sergeant John O’Connell: “I never forced her. I never raped her, as in forcing someone. I never forced her. I swear on my life I never had sex with her. 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.”
The indictment that went to the jury consisted of 19 counts of rape, one count of anal rape, one count of oral rape and four sexual assaults. One of the rape charges was a majority guilty verdict and the anal rape was a not guilty verdict. Otherwise all verdicts were unanimous guilty.