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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# Abuse
Man told his wife “I can rape you if I want” before threatening to cut her face open, trial hears
The woman said her husband took up a knife and said he could cut her face open before pushing her upstairs and raping her.

A MAN TOLD his wife “I can rape you if I want” sometime before raping her and threatening to cut her face open with a knife.

Before the alleged rape, the 42-year-old accused is alleged to have doused the living room with lighter fluid while the couple’s young child was in the house, a trial at the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The woman told the court she and her husband had been arguing because she had said the relationship was over but he told her “it will be my choice if we ever separate”.

She said her husband pushed her upstairs and when he saw her looking at her phone, told her, “The guards will never arrive in time, don’t even think about it.”

The complainant told the jury of eleven men and one woman that she knew what her husband wanted when he then came into the bedroom naked. She told prosecuting counsel Mary Rose Gearty SC:

I just said to myself, ‘you’ve just got to do this, because he’s going to kill you. You’ve nowhere to go’. I just kept saying to myself ‘just survive, just survive’.

She said her husband was saying “a stream of stuff” and called her a “cold fucking bitch” before raping her. She said she left the next day and obtained a temporary barring order against the accused.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to rape, assault causing harm and five counts of threats to kill or cause serious harm between 24 May and 1 August 2014. The jury heard he has already pleaded guilty to a count of assaulting his wife with a hammer in August 2014.

The woman gave evidence that there was “tension” in the marriage six months after the birth of their child. She said her husband said she was giving all her attention to the child and he was feeling very left out.

In 2012 she had been promoted to a senior position in her job while her husband had been let go from his, she told the court.

She said she told him she wanted to separate in March 2014. Shortly afterwards she said he head-butted her in the kitchen. When their child came in and asked what happened, the accused allegedly said “your mam hit her head.”

‘I can rape you if I want’

She said she stayed at her parent’s house with her child for the next two nights. When she returned she said there was a strange smell in the house and the accused was sitting in the living room smoking cigarettes. He allegedly said he had poured petrol around the house.

The woman said she found an empty container of lighter fluid and became very scared for their child’s safety who was upstairs asleep. She stayed up all night cleaning the house.

She said over the following nights the accused would pace the floor, becoming increasingly aggressive and telling her they weren’t separating.

“One night he said ‘as long as we’re both staying in this house I’m going to have sex with you’,” she told the court. She said he became very aggressive and told her:

I can do this if I want; I can rape you if I want.

The woman said the alleged raped occurred sometime after this on 25 May 2014.

Immediately beforehand he allegedly told her: “We’re finished talking, we’re staying together. I’ve decided we’re staying together. You don’t get to decide this. It will be my choice if we ever separate.”

She said he took up a knife and said he could cut her face open before pushing her upstairs and raping her.

Afterwards he allegedly told her “I’m not finished.” She said she “nearly fell apart” and promised him they would stay together. She said he told her “you better fucking mean it because if not, you’re dead.”

The woman will continue her evidence tomorrow before Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy and a jury.

Read: Gardaí believe children were coerced into placing missing Philip Cairns’ bag in a laneway>

Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher