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Central Criminal Court

Dublin man acquitted on some charges of raping his wife with household objects

The jury in the Central Criminal Court trial returned four not guilty verdicts today. They were unable to reach a verdict on the remaining 11 counts.

This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.

A DUBLIN MAN who was on trial accused of raping his wife with various household objects while she was passed out has been found not guilty of four charges against him.

The 48-year-old man, who can’t be named to protect the identity of his former wife, had pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of raping her on unknown dates between 1 January, 2005 and 5 September, 2014.

The jury in the Central Criminal Court trial returned four not guilty verdicts today after nearly eight hours of deliberating. They were unable to reach a verdict on the remaining 11 counts.

The man bowed his head as the majority verdicts were handed down, while the woman left court before they were fully delivered. Some of the jurors were in tears.

During the two week trial, the prosecution alleged the man sexually assaulted his wife by penetrating her vagina with various objects including a knife, a cheese grater, a bottle, a carrot, a banana, a cucumber, a tulip, a wooden spatula, a decanter stopper, part of a shoe, a bicycle pump, a deodorant bottle and his finger.

He was also charged with one count of anal rape and one count of penetrating the woman’s anus with his thumb.

The jury found him not guilty of one count of raping her with a deodorant bottle, one count of raping her with his finger, and the two anal rape counts.

Mr Justice Paul Burns thanked the jury for its service. He noted it was not an easy trial to sit through, “particularly looking at some of the images”. He excused them from jury duty for seven years.

He adjourned the matter for mention on November 7.

It was the State’s case that the now 49-year-old woman was unconscious and unable to give her consent when her husband carried out the rapes.

Abuse material

The woman told Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, that she discovered the abuse material on her husband’s laptop in March 2019 when she went searching for a video he had of taken her when she was drunk.

She said he had threatened to send this video to her parents and she wanted to delete it. The court heard the woman had a drinking problem during their marriage.

She told the jury she saw videos of her husband raping her and doing “awful things, sexual things with objects”. “I was passed out,” she said. “…There was no way I would allow these things to happen to me.” She asked the man to move out the following day.

The court heard couple regularly had a “date night” on Saturday evenings, when they would cook a nice meal, share a bottle of wine and she would get dressed up.

She said the night would usually end with them having sex. On occasion her husband would take out his phone.

“I thought it was weird. I didn’t think it was right to record it and he said he wouldn’t do it again,” the woman told the jury.

She said he was also “very interested in anal sex”. “I would say no. I was not into it and repeatedly he would try it. I am just not interested in it.”

The man took the stand during the trial and told the jury that all of the sexual acts were consensual. He said he and his wife had a dominant-submissive relationship and that he had a fetish for taking photos of her with different objects inside her.

He denied the prosecution’s assertions that he took the opportunity to do this to his wife without her consent when his wife was “unconscious, asleep, out cold”.

When asked why he took the photos, the man said: “It was something I was into, it was risky, like you’re doing a porn shoot at home.”

“I believe there was consent given in every sexual activity myself and my wife engaged in, and I never took advantage of her,” he told the jury.

The man told his trial he was “more than happy” to accept he took all the photos, but the court heard he told gardaí he had never seen them before. He told the jury he did this because he was extremely anxious and he “clammed up”.

The trial has heard other sexual material was stored on a hard drive that was not before the court. The man said he told his wife during marriage mediation that he destroyed this hard drive with a hammer to give her peace of mind, but this was not true.

He then told gardaí he put the hard drive in a van with the aim of wiping it, but the van was stolen. The man told the jury that had this hard drive been before the court, there would be “ample evidence” that he was not guilty of the charges.

The jury started its deliberations on Thursday morning. On Friday, Mr Justice Paul Burns said he would accept a majority verdict. After seven hours and 48 minutes of deliberating, the jury foreman said they had reached majority verdicts of 10-2 on four counts, but could not agree on the remainder.