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Central Criminal Court

Man accused of raping friend says he may have had sex with her whilst asleep

The alleged incident happened in Dublin in 2008. The man says he has a history of sleep-walking.

SCC R Woffenden 1 Richard Woffenden Richard Woffenden

A MAN WHO is alleged to have raped a female friend after a night out admitted to gardaí that he may have had sex with her while he was sleeping.

“I’ve a sleep-walking history – yes it is possible, I don’t remember what happened,” he told officers when asked if he had sex with the woman.

“I think she thought we may have had sex, I don’t remember doing it. That’s the God honest truth, I don’t remember having sex with her, I just woke up,” the now 29-year-old man said.

He said he was in a semi-conscious state and claimed he would never have unprotected sex.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of raping the woman at an apartment in Dublin in the early hours of 28 September 2008.

Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting read the accused’s memo of interview with gardaí to the jury, in which he admitted that his then girlfriend would often wake up to him grinding his crotch against her.


He told gardaí “she would always wake up and stop it before it got too serious”. He added that this had happened up to 40 times with his girlfriend and sometimes more than once a night.

The man also told gardaí that he was once sleeping with a number of friends side by side on mattresses and he was told the following morning that he had been trying to inappropriately touch another girl during the night.

He also admitted to once waking up and finding he had been kissing the complainant’s sister, while on another occasion he said he was also kissing a different girl in his sleep.

He told gardaí that he and the complainant were very good friends but they were never boyfriend and girlfriend and he never experienced sexual feelings towards her.

“She was a great girl and we got on well together. I was happy to have such a great friend,” the man said during interview.

The man told gardaí that on the night of the alleged rape he woke up to the complainant asking him was he wearing a condom. He said he was lying across the woman with his left leg over her.

Dull perception

“I have a dull perception of what was going on. I think I was trying to initiate sex with her but my memory is hazy,” the accused said in interview.

He said he also recalled the complainant talking about having to get the pill and him replying “subconsciously”: “It’s ok you won’t have to get it, if you do I will go with you.”

In a second interview when asked by gardaí if he denied raping his friend, the accused replied: “I don’t know because I was asleep. I believe there is a possibility that it didn’t happen. I can’t know what happened in my sleep.”

When asked why he had texted his friend in the days after the alleged incident that he felt guilty he replied: “She told me I had raped her and I believed her.”

“I don’t remember having sex with her, if I did I was asleep,” he continued.

An investigating Garda agreed with Anne-Marie Lawlor BL, defending that her client had no previous convictions and had never come to Garda attention.

He accepted that the accused had always been polite, respectful and co-operative.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

Comments are closed for legal reasons

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