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Rape trial hears from accused who claims woman with Down syndrome enjoyed sexual activity

The Pakistani man also said that in his country people with mental disabilities are kept in hospitals or at home.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A MAN ACCUSED of raping a woman who has Down syndrome has told a jury that in his country mentally disabled people are kept at home or in hospitals.

The 34-year-old man is accused of luring the woman back to his house and raping her after she became separated from her mother on the street.

The man admits there was sexual activity with the woman but maintains that it was consensual and that he didn’t know she was mentally impaired.

He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on 12 June 2013.

The accused, who is from Pakistan, took the stand today in his own defence and claimed that the woman enjoyed the sexual activity.

He told his counsel Padraig Dwyer SC that in his home country people with mental disabilities are kept in their homes or in hospitals and that “they not, like, go off alone”.

Badges

He said some mentally disabled people in his home country wore badges bearing their names so people knew they had a problem.

Speaking in English with the occasional assistance of an interpreter the accused said he came to Ireland and worked up until 2013 when he was arrested for rape.

He said he often approached women on the street and invited them back to his house for sex. He said he also used prostitutes sometimes.

Asked how many women he would proposition in an average day, he replied:

There is no limit. I don’t remember how many women I ask, maybe a few of them a day.

He said he had “success” with many of these women. He said such activity was illegal in Pakistan but that here, “anybody can ask anybody” and that he liked to “enjoy fun, enjoy sex”.

16 women

The jury has heard from 16 women who say the accused approached them in the street around the time of the alleged rape. The accused told the court that he remembered some of them but “most of them I don’t remember”.

He said that he met the alleged victim near his home and asked her how she was.

She said ‘not too bad.’ I said I live in this street, come stay with me. She said okay.

He said they walked to his home and that she kissed him when they got inside. He said they then undressed and engaged in various sexual activities for about 20 minutes before the woman said she had to go. He said she kissed him again before leaving.

Counsel asked the accused how he felt about “the sex” afterwards. He said he felt okay, “she was, like normal, like normal people with me”.

He said that when gardaí spoke to him he was not worried because, “I didn’t do anything wrong, during it she was enjoying it with me.” He said he never heard the term Down syndrome until his arrest.

The accused will be cross-examined by prosecuting counsel Caroline Biggs SC when the trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of six men and six women.

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About the author:

Denis Tobin

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