A security guard has told a jury in the trial of three men accused of raping a woman in a car that he saw two people that appeared to be engaged in sexual activity in a car.
The witness told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, on Thursday at the Central Criminal Court that he was on patrol when he saw four people, three males and the final person, who he assumed was female.
The first defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault.
A second defendant (23) has pleaded not guilty to rape, oral rape and two counts of sexual assault. The third defendant (22) has pleaded not guilty to rape and oral rape.
The offences are alleged to have occurred on December 20th, 2017 at a hotel car park in the Leinster area. The complainant was aged 17 at the time.
The security guard said he spotted two cars in the overflow car park while on patrol and drove beside them. The witness said he was reasonably close to the cars.
He said he spoke to a man who was getting dressed in the driver's seat of one of the cars and told them to leave the area. He said the response was a “sneer” and the man said something along the lines of “doing a bit of riding”.
The witness said the other two occupants of this car appeared to be engaged in sexual activity. He said he saw a partially-dressed male in the passenger seat and what he assumed to be a partially-dressed female. The security guard said he couldn't see the woman's face.
The security guard said the fourth person was standing at the other car. He told Michael O’Higgins SC, representing the first defendant, that he presumed there was activity in the second car, but didn't see anything.
The witness said he was called away and when he returned, the cars had left.
The security guard told Mark Nicholas SC, representing the third defendant, that the patrol vehicle had its lights on and the car park area was dark at the time.
The witness agreed with Garnet Orange SC, representing the second defendant, that the man he spoke to didn't seem bothered by his presence.
In earlier evidence, the complainant's mother said that her daughter had a “vacant” look when she returned home on the night in question. The witness said she “knew something was wrong”.
The complainant's mother said her daughter told her what had happened when she asked two days later. The witness confirmed she arranged an appointment for her daughter at the sexual assault treatment clinic and spoke to the Rape Crisis Centre for advice. She said her daughter didn't want to report what happened “as it was Christmas”.
The witness told Mr Orange that she assumed her daughter had been with a friend she normally hung out with on the night in question. The witness said she asked her daughter if she'd taken anything when she saw the “vacant” look on her face. She said the complainant told her she hadn't.
A friend of the complainant said she got a message from the complainant on social media asking her to keep an eye on the complainant's location. The witness told Ms Fawsitt she didn't take a screenshot of the message.
She confirmed the complainant came to her house to use the bathroom, then the two women went for a walk.
The witness said the complainant seemed “a bit upset” and “not herself”. She said the complainant told her she had been raped and seemed “scared and a bit in shock”.
The witness told Ms Fawsitt she asked the complainant to go to the gardaí, but the complainant didn't want to tell her parents or gardaí.
The witness confirmed to Mr O'Higgins that the complainant told her during the walk that she was raped by three men. She agreed with defence counsel that the complainant gave her an “upfront description of rape”.
The witness said she didn't recall saying “you’ve been raped and you don’t even realise it” to the complainant during the walk.
She agreed with Mr O'Higgins that there was a difference between her account of the conversation and what the complainant told gardaí about this interaction.
When asked by Mr O'Higgins, the witness said she found the complainant to be reliable, adding that she “never had to check anything out”.
The witness told Mr Orange that there was “nothing unusual” about the complainant coming to her house as “we always went to each other’s houses”.
The witness told Mr Orange that the complainant didn't say anything about trying to run away when they spoke. She said she hadn’t heard any conversations about the complainant deleting apps for messages.
When asked by Mr Orange if she knew if the complainant would have been “concerned what her mother would say if she found out what she’d been up to”, the witness said no. The trial continues before Ms Justice Melanie Greally and a jury.