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Courts

Man who denies raping his wife's friend in a park told gardaí he 'fell between her legs'

The second day of the Central Criminal Court trial saw transcripts from the man’s four interviews with gardaí read to the jury.

A MAN WHO allegedly raped his wife’s friend in a park told gardaí that sexual contact could have occurred when he fell on top of the woman but that he doesn’t remember.

A Dublin man (55), who can’t be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to rape in September 2019 in a park following a party at his house.

It is the State’s case that the man raped the woman in a park while walking her home after a party at his house. The man has denied any wrongdoing.

On the second day of the Central Criminal Court trial today, transcripts from the man’s four interviews were read to the jury.

The man told gardaí that the complainant was a friend of his wife for a long time and there would be “general chit chat” if they met when she was visiting his house.

He said they had had a “falling out” about a birthday party for his wife, and the complainant “didn’t talk to me for a long time” afterwards.

In relation to the night of the alleged rape, he said the complainant was the last person in the house after the party and was “very drunk”.

He insisted on walking her home, and she lay on a grass verge when they got around the corner from his house, saying she needed to sleep. He said he got her up, and they continued, but this happened again before they reached the park.

The accused said the woman went to sleep on grass in the park, and he couldn’t wake her. He said he let her sleep for around 20 minutes.

He said he was standing there “annoyed” when “suddenly she sat up, opened her legs and said ‘take me’.”

The man said he was shocked and told her to go home. He said she replied: “Just do it, then I’ll go home”.

He said he walked away before returning to try to get her home. He said the woman grabbed his trousers, opened them, and said, “Oh great”, then “took my penis in her mouth”.

The man said he pulled back and said, “No more, that’s enough”. He said she then started to abuse him, and he went home, leaving the complainant to make her way home.

He said he texted her the next day to check she was okay, and she said she wanted to meet. He said they met in a car park and agreed to “forget about” what had happened.

In the second interview, the man denied ever having a sexual relationship with the complainant but later described her as a “flirtatious person” when asked if he’d ever “tried it on” with her.

He said he drank four beers at the party, and he was “merry”. He said he met the woman briefly in the kitchen and described her as “well on” as she was “drinking everything”.

He repeated his account of their walk to the park. He said he got a fright when the woman sat up after falling asleep on the grass in the park.

He said the woman was about to fall back, and he said he reached out to try to stop her from falling. He repeated his account that the woman performed oral sex on him, and he said “no”.

He said he pulled back, but was pulled forward by the woman, then stumbled and fell on top of her with his penis still out of his trousers.

The man also denied having consensual sexual intercourse with the woman when asked by gardaí. He later clarified this: “I don’t think I did, I honestly don’t remember”.

He said he was “well on” after drinking beer and replied, “Maybe with drink,” when asked if he’d ever had sex and not remembered it.

The man later clarified during this interview that it was possible he ejaculated when he fell on the woman and could have penetrated her vagina, but said he didn’t know or think that he did.

When asked by gardaí if this was consensual, the man said, “She was doing all the instigation” and gave him a “blowjob”. “I don’t know; I think she was making herself out to be worse than she was, but she was still in a bad way”.

In his third interview, gardaí put it to him that his story sounded “somewhat crazy”. He replied it was “all so quick and crazy, but that’s what happened”.

He denied ever falling on a woman before and penetrating her vagina with his penis. He said he’d never heard of it happening, but it was what had occurred that night.

When asked if sex took place accidentally, the man replied, “I can’t say whether or not it did”.

Gardaí asked him again if he had sex with the complainant. He replied, “She gave me a blowjob; I fell forward; that’s what I’m sticking to”. He repeated that he fell between her legs.

He further denied trying to kiss the woman, saying that she tried to kiss him earlier on the walk.

Jurors were told the man was interviewed for a fourth time after forensic analysis found his DNA on samples taken when the woman attended a sexual assault treatment unit.

He said the woman had “pulled him down” and “obviously” something happened, but he couldn’t remember as it was “all very quick”.

Gardaí asked if he was “insinuating” that the complainant “made him have sex”, to which he replied, “The oral part”.

The man said she performed oral sex on him before pulling him down as he was trying to get her up. “I’m not sure if I entered her….the ground was wet and slippy. I could have slipped in”.

When gardaí expressed surprise at this, he said, “It could have happened”, and he was holding her to try to get her up from the ground.

The man also denied walking in on the woman while she was in the bathroom of his home before the alleged rape.

In other evidence, the jury heard that the man’s house was searched under warrant in October 2019, during which he handed two mobile phones to gardaí. These phones and the woman’s phone were analysed by a garda technical officer.

An investigating garda agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, defending, that his client has no previous convictions, co-operated with the investigation and provided a DNA sample.

The trial continues.

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