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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Meath man convicted of raping woman he met on dating app

Gardaí arrested Martin Sherlock following a “sting” operation in which officers arranged to meet him as he was selling a phone through Done Deal.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

A MEATH MAN convicted of raping a woman he met on online dating app Badoo was caught through “ingenious detective work” on the part of investigating gardaí, a court has heard.

Martin Sherlock (30) and the woman had arranged to meet but she told him they could not have sex without a condom.

She started to feel uncomfortable during other sexual activity and said he did not stop when she said “no”. She later realised he had ejaculated inside her.

Prosecuting counsel, Eilis Brennan BL, told the Central Criminal Court that the key issue in the case was that the victim had said no to sex without a condom. The woman said she thought Badoo was “a way to meet boys”, but she did not know how to talk to them and said they just wanted sex after meeting.

Sherlock of Athlumney Wood, Navan, Co Meath had pleaded not guilty to raping the woman at her Dublin home on 14 August 2015. He had admitted stealing the woman’s mobile phone. He has no previous convictions.

Sherlock was convicted following a four-day trial after just over five hours of deliberations.

The court heard Sherlock has since lost his job and his wedding plans have been cancelled.

Gardaí arrested Sherlock following a “sting” operation in which gardaí arranged to meet him as he was selling a phone through Done Deal. He told gardaí: “I know she said no, but we had already started”.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy adjourned finalisation of sentence until 2 July and remanded Sherlock in custody until that date.

Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending, said Sherlock was “profoundly sorry” for the events and wished to apologise to the woman. Counsel said the effect of the publicity around the case had been devastating for Sherlock.

The court heard testimonials from family members and from Sherlock’s fiancée who described him as a “caring, kind, generous and shy man”.

The court heard Sherlock’s defence was that the sex had been consensual. He admitting hearing some “nos” but after some stopping and starting, thought she was happy to go forward.

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Fiona Ferguson

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