Man accused of raping his brother's partner found not guilty by jury at Cork court

The jury of six men and six women took a total of two hours and 32 minutes of deliberation at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork to reach their unanimous not guilty verdict.
Man accused of raping his brother's partner found not guilty by jury at Cork court

The jury of six men and six women took a total of two hours and 32 minutes of deliberation at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork to reach their unanimous not guilty verdict.

A man accused of raping his brother’s partner as she slept in front of the television at her home on Christmas night was found not guilty by the unanimous decision of a jury.

At interview with An Garda Síochána later, the accused said in relation to the complainant’s pants being pulled down, “Her dog pulled them down.” Mr Justice Michael MacGrath told the jury that because a defendant lies about certain matters does not mean that the jury can conclude he is lying about the main issue in the case.

As well as the defendant saying this during one interview about how the complainant’s pants were down, the accused man testified in the case that the complainant put them down herself.

The 39-year-old complaint testified that she and her partner had been up since 4.30 a.m. on Christmas morning 2018 because of the children’s excitement about Santa. Later in the evening, her partner’s brother and his daughter called over and they played games, watched television and had a few drinks.

The complainant’s partner went upstairs for a lie-down. The complainant said she was on one couch and the accused – her partner’s brother - was on another. She said an ad for the film Pretty Woman came on and they talked briefly about that.

“I remember Brendan Grace coming on telly after the ad for Pretty Woman. I fell asleep on the couch. Next thing I remember was waking up and (defendant’s name) was on top of me on the couch. I woke and within seconds he was off me.

“I was wearing pyjamas. The top part of my clothes were fine. My pants and underwear were pulled down,” the complainant said.

Asked by prosecution senior counsel Seán Gillane if she had pulled them down, she replied that she had not done so.

“He was inside me… His penis was inside my vagina. He was wearing a black tracksuit and his pants was pulled down. I got a shock when I woke. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the fright.

“I jumped off the couch. I gave out to him. He apologised, He said he would never do it again. (Name of defendant’s brother who is also the complainant’s partner) would kill him and his mother would be in the river if she found out. I said I didn’t care, he was a dirty bastard and I would be telling (her partner). I was hyperventilating. I was disgusted, I was angry, I was frightened,” she said.

She said she told the accused to stay where he was but he ran and jumped over two walls at the back of the house to getaway.

Ronan Munro defence senior counsel said in cross-examination that the accused man denies rape and suggested to the complainant that she pulled her own pants and underwear down. She replied, “Absolutely not.” 

Mr Munro said the complainant’s partner was told the allegations and there was a later encounter between him and his brother – the accused - and that in the course of this encounter, “There is a bit of fisticuffs and he (the accused) came off the worst. He (the complainant’s partner) gave him a bit of what he thought he deserved.” The accused agreed with this description.

The accused said there was sexual activity between himself and the complainant but not sexual intercourse. He claimed, “I felt a connection that night. She pulled down her pants and I went for it.” 

He said the only penetration was with his fingers and that she had her eyes closed and made noises suggesting she was enjoying it.

He said there were walls that he jumped to get away but he said they were only low walls. “I knew if I stayed I would have been bashed,” he said.

The jury of six men and six women took a total of two hours and 32 minutes of deliberation at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork to reach their unanimous not guilty verdict.

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