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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Woman 'definitely did not consent' to any sexual activity at centre of trial, court hears

The woman’s husband is on trial accused of assaulting her over a period of nine years.

Note: The details in this court report might be distressing to read.

A WOMAN HAS told a jury that she discovered videos on her husband’s computer of him “raping me, putting objects inside me” when she said she was “passed out”.

She said she discovered the videos one Monday in March 2019 and asked her husband to move out the following day.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to 15 charges of sexually assaulting the woman by penetrating her vagina with various different objects on dates between 1 January 2005 and 5 September 2014 at a Dublin address.

The charges also include an allegation of anal rape and penetration of the woman’s anus with his thumb.

The now 49-year-old woman told Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, that she discovered the videos when she went searching for a video he had of taken her when she had been drinking. He had threatened to send this video to her parents and she wanted to delete it.

The woman described the videos she found. “Videos of one person doing awful things, sexual with objects. It was him (the accused) and he was doing them to me. I looked at about 15 videos.

“There was a carrot… putting cream all over me. In another video you could see a butter dish and there was stuff all over me. I was in different positions.”

She told Brennan the objects she saw in the videos included “a carrot, a courgette, a deodorant bottle, his hand, his penis, a cucumber, normal objects”.

She said in the videos the accused “was raping me and putting objects in me. I was passed out. In some of them you could see a full figure lying on the couch. There was no way I would allow these things to happen to me,” the woman told the jury.

Memory stick

The woman said she deleted the videos she found but after getting advice from a friend she tried to move some of the remaining videos onto a memory stick. She later discovered that she actually had not moved those files properly and there was nothing on the memory stick.

The woman identified various objects in a booklet of photographs that were handed to the jury.

She said in the first photo she could see the accused’s hand. “That is me. He is putting a carrot inside me,” the woman told the jury.

As she went through the photographs, she identified a bracelet she had been given as a gift for her 40th birthday, various different cushions, a grey blanket, her engagement ring, a dress, a pair of green shoes, a cheese grater and a red spatula.

A number of these items had been handed over to gardaí and were exhibits in the trial. The woman identified these objects in court as being those in the photographs.

When asked by Brennan if she was aware of any of the sexual activity captured in the images, the woman replied “No”.

“The first time I came across this activity was when I found them [the videos].”

When asked if she had ever consented to this activity, the woman replied: “I definitely did not consent to any of that sexual activity, not in a million years”.

Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, told the woman in cross-examination that his client will say that “all this activity that took place between you was consensual”.

“I would disagree with that and back that up with my reaction,” the woman replied.

She said their marriage was difficult and she was trying to fix it. They started marriage counselling in January 2019 but she said she found the videos, two months later.

“Within a couple of days I asked him to get out and take his computer with him,” the woman told Mr Heneghan.

The woman said there were difficulties in the couple’s marriage. She was a stay-at-home mother to their three children and she felt her husband was trying to control the way she spent their money.

She said he would give her a list for shopping and a budget and check what she had spent when she came home. She would have to account for any discrepancies.

The woman described how around that time the couple would regularly have what she termed “a date night” on a Saturday evening. They would cook a nice meal; share a bottle of wine and she would get dressed up.

She said the night would usually end with them having sex. On occasion her husband would take out his phone.

“I thought it was weird. I didn’t think it was right to record it and he said he wouldn’t do it again,” the woman told the jury.

The woman said that one night, in 2017, she woke up to find the bedroom was extremely bright. The ensuite light was on and the bathroom door wedged open.

Her husband was by the side of the bed and she was naked from the waist down. He had something in his hand that he then put in the wardrobe.

She asked him what was up and he said “it’s alright”. She pulled the quilt back up and went back to sleep.

The trial continues before the jury of six men and six women and Mr Justice Paul Burns. 

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