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Central Criminal Court. Alamy Stock Photo
Central Criminal Court

Man accused of repeated rape of his wife tells jury they had a ‘dominant-submissive relationship’

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

A DUBLIN MAN accused of repeatedly raping his wife using household objects has told his trial they had a dominant-submissive relationship that was consensual.

Under cross-examination from Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, today, the man denied that when his wife was “unconscious, asleep, out cold” he took the opportunity to place objects inside her without her consent.

The man was brought through several photos of the woman with various implements inside her. He denied assertions by the prosecution that his wife was passive and “conked out” in the photos, saying: “I disagree with that completely”.

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.

The man told the jury today that he and his wife had a “healthy sexual relationship”.

“We had a relationship that was best described as dominant – submissive in sexual terms,” the man said, adding he was the dominant and he took the photographs of her. He said he was “sexually dominant, not any other way”.

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.” He said that he initially told gardaí that this was not a fetish of his, but in evidence today he said: “It is a fetish I think”.

The man said he was “more than happy” to accept that the photos before the court were taken by him and said they were “all consensual”.  The court heard that when interviewed by gardaí, the man said he didn’t recognise the images and hadn’t seen them before.

When asked by Brennan why he lied to gardaí, the man replied: “You could say I lied or you could say I was in a stressful situation. I clammed up. I seized up. I wanted to get out of there”.

He said he was “extremely anxious” after several hours of questioning. “I clammed up the way I feel I am doing now,” he said. “I turn into a hedgehog, head down, spikes out and that’s the approach I took. I said to the guards, ‘I’m not comfortable with this exercise’.”

The trial has heard other sexual material was stored on a hard drive. 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.

He told gardaí this was not true and that 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 trial has heard the allegations came to light when his wife said she found the images on a folder on his laptop.

Brennan put it to the man that he “never thought of the laptop”, that he thought he had taken everything off it and these images came as “a complete surprise” to him. He replied that he was surprised more images weren’t found on the laptop.

Brennan put it to the man that his evidence was “very self-serving” and that he placed himself in the best light. “Would that not be an understandable reaction?” the man replied.

Brennan suggested to the man that the reason he took the pictures was because he knew it was activity his wife would never consent to and that he took them to look at “again and again”. “It was your fetish,” Brennan said.

“I fancied my wife and I liked looking at pictures of her naked,” the man said. “I liked looking at pictures of things we had done together.”

When Brennan asserted the woman was unconscious when he took the photos, the man replied: “I had full consent.” He said he was the one who would generally “choose the objects and put them inside her”.

Brennan said the man justified his actions by telling himself it “didn’t make any difference because as far as (he) was concerned, she would never know”.

“Completely false,” the man replied.

The trial, which is now in its closing stages, continues tomorrow before a jury and Mr Justice Paul Burns.