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'Help help please' - Court hears of text sent by alleged rape victim to friend during incident

The alleged assault happened in a town in the northwest in the aftermath of St Patrick’s Day celebrations in 2016.

SCC R Woffenden 3 Source: Richard Woffenden

A TEENAGE GIRL who claimed she was raped by a schoolmate two years ago texted her friend “help help please” during the alleged incident, a court has heard.

The girl, now aged 18, broke down as she gave evidence on the first day of a trial at the Central Criminal Court today.

The accused man (19) has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexually assaulting the girl in the northwest on 18 March 2016.

The court heard the girl, who was then aged 16, met the accused in a takeaway restaurant sometime around midnight after St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

She told the jury she had known the boy as he was in the year ahead of her at school and she had kissed or “shifted” him at a house party three months earlier.

The accused cannot be named for legal reasons.

The girl told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that school had just broken up for the Easter holidays and that this was the first time she was allowed on “a proper night out in town” having only been to junior discos before.

‘Very light-headed’

She said she went to her friend’s house and they spent a few hours getting ready, doing makeup, hair and getting dressed, before they went into the town and met friends in a bar.

The girl said she and her friends drank four or five “vodka and whites” or vodka with 7-Up, two “Green Diesels”, which she thought was a combination of WKD vodka and an energy boost, and a shot of Sambuca.

She said she was “quite drunk, very light-headed” afterwards when she went into a nearby takeaway restaurant with some friends and met the accused.

The court heard she had kissed or “shifted” him three months earlier at a house party but that nothing had happened since then.

She told the jury that the accused suggested going for a walk and took hold of her hand after they left the takeaway. She said he suggested going into an area beside a building and that initially she hadn’t wanted to, but he persuaded her.

The girl said he pushed her up against the wall and sexually assaulted her although she made it clear that she didn’t want this and told him so repeatedly.

Headlights

The court heard that they heard a car’s engine out the front and could see headlights shining and hear voices; she told the accused that they shouldn’t really be there and should leave.

She said the accused said he would go and see who it was and get them to leave, and while he left she said she picked up her phone and called her friend.

“I said ‘I need help.’ She knew that I was quite drunk. She said to go and get some water. I was quite upset, I told her who I was with,” said the girl. She said that she hung up the phone when the accused came back.

The girl broke down as she told the court that the accused then grabbed her by both elbows, turned her around to face the wall and raped her.

The girl said she was crying heavily and said “no, please stop” and “no” five or six times and that her head scraped against the wall.

She said the accused was “kind of laughing” afterwards and she was quite disorientated and had blood on her hand, her foot and her jeans.

Text messages

Text messages were read out in court from the girl to her friend sent just after the alleged incident saying “help help please”, “IDK (I don’t know) what to do” and “there’s blood all over my hands”.

Her friend texted her in reply to drink plenty of water, sober up and find people to go home with.

“I have to sleep but if you really need me call,” read one reply from her friend.

The court heard that the girl walked back to the takeaway with the accused after the alleged assault, met a number of people and was very upset.

Justice Deirdre Murphy warned the jury of eight men and four women at the outset of the trial that it would be “grossly inappropriate and wrong” for them to engage in any independent searches online or to discuss the case on social media for the duration of the trial.

The trial, which is expected to last until the middle of next week, continues.

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Jessica Magee

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