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Central Criminal Court Shutterstock
Central Criminal Court

Man accused of raping his wife using household objects tells court he believed she consented

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of raping the woman.

This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.

A MAN ON trial for repeatedly raping his wife using household objects while she was allegedly unconscious has said he believed his wife consented to all sexual activity.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 15 counts of raping the woman on unknown dates between 1 January, 2005 and 5 September, 2014.

The charges allege that the accused sexually assaulted the woman by penetrating her vagina with various different 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.

The charges also include an allegation of anal rape and one of penetration of the woman’s anus with his thumb. All 15 offences are contrary to section 4 of the 1990 Rape Amendment Act. 

It is 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.

Giving evidence in his own defence, the accused told Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, that he never took advantage of his wife.

He said that after their first child was born they began organising a weekly “date night” to make up for the lack of a social life. He said these nights would involve him cooking a meal, and the two of them drinking alcohol and generally culminate in them having sex.

He said that using a camera or a phone camera to photograph or make videos was a consistent feature in their sex life throughout the marriage. He said that the use of “implements” during sex would have taken place around 20 times.

He said his wife was always aware that he was using the camera or a phone camera and sometimes “she would encourage it”.

He said there were other times when she asked him to put the camera away because “she wanted me to be in the moment” and he said he would put it away.

“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.

Heneghan asked him to respond to the allegation that during the sexual activity subject to the charges, his wife “was unconscious or drunk to such an extent to not be able to give consent”.

The accused replied: “To my mind there was never enough alcohol involved to impair her judgment”.

In testimony given last week, the woman has told Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, that in March 2019 she discovered a video of her husband “raping me, putting objects inside me” when she said she was “passed out”.

She said she found these on a folder on his laptop when she went searching for a video he had taken of her after she had been drinking.

She said he had threatened to send this video to her parents and she wanted to delete it. In his evidence, the man told Mr Heneghan that the day before this, he and his wife had a row.

Under cross-examination, he told Brennan that he had never threatened to send the video to anyone after his wife stopped drinking in June 2017.

He said before this, he had become worried about the level of her drinking and that he made the video of her when she arrived “blotto drunk” and told her he was going to show it to her parents.

He told Brennan that he also wanted to show it to his wife the next day because sometimes she wouldn’t remember how drunk she was or believe his account.

Earlier, the jury heard evidence of the man’s garda interviews during which the man was shown images alleged to be photographs of him raping her with the various implements.

The man told gardaí he didn’t recognise the images and hadn’t seen them before. He said that the laptop had stopped working in 2014, but that before then it was a work laptop which was often left in work.

He said that his co-workers had access to the laptop at this time and that his wife also had access to it whenever he took it home.

“There’s nothing to tie me to those images,” he told gardaí.

Asked if he thought his wife took the photos herself, he said that “she can’t in some of them” and said that he didn’t know “who would have taken them”. He said he had only ever made video recordings of their sexual intercourse.

He told gardaí that his wife consented to the insertion of the various objects and said that he never took advantage of her “unfit state” due to alcohol consumption.

Asked: “Did you have your wife’s consent” he replied: “My understanding is I had my wife’s consent.”

The trial continues before a jury and Mr Justice Paul Burns.