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Courts

Taxi driver accused of rape claims sexual interaction was consensual

The court heard today that the man was arrested in early September 2022.

A TAXI DRIVER accused of the rape of two young women in separate incidents told gardaí that his sexual interaction with the first complainant was consensual. 

The man, who is in his early fifties, has pleaded not guilty to the rape and anal rape of this woman in June 2022. He further denies the rape of another woman on a date the following August.

It is the State’s case that each woman found themselves in a taxi after a night out socialising in Dublin city centre and that each were raped by the accused man.

The accused man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, denies the allegations and says that any sexual interaction between him and each woman was consensual and initiated by them.

The court heard today that the man was arrested in early September 2022 and provided a prepared statement to gardaí during interview, which was read to the jury.

The man denied the rape allegations and claimed there had been a consensual sexual interaction between him and the first complainant.

He said the woman got into his taxi and directed him as he drove. He said she had “drink on her” but was able to hold a conversation.

He claimed the woman was “giddy” and “laughing a lot”, and there was conversation between them as he drove.

He said he pulled the car in, and the woman called him cute, then kissed him.

He said he kissed her back, and they then engaged in consensual sexual activity. 

He said the woman got into the back seat of the taxi herself, and it was “pure nonsense” to say she was “tossed into the back seat like a ragdoll”.

In her evidence yesterday, the woman said the man “tossed” her in the back seat after picking her up like she “weighed nothing”.

The man told gardaí there was a consensual sexual encounter with the woman in the back seat of the taxi.  He denied there was anal sex and told gardaí that all sexual interaction between them was with “her full consent”.

A garda witness said that she went to the complainant’s home on the afternoon of 26 June,2022, where she seized items, including the woman’s clothes and a phone.

The garda said she accompanied the complainant to a sexual assault treatment unit later that day, where the woman was examined and samples taken.

Forensic analysis later identified the man’s DNA profile on items of the woman’s clothing.

The witness told Gerardine Small SC, prosecuting, that the taxi was identified from CCTV, and further enquiries showed it was leased to the accused man, who was the only person insured to drive it.

GPS location data relating to the taxi’s movements on the night was provided to gardaí, the court was told.

In other evidence, a taxi fleet manager confirmed that the man was the sole driver of this particular vehicle. The jury was also told that drivers are made aware there is GPS installed in the vehicles.

The jury was shown a compilation of CCTV, which showed the woman walking and, later, a taxi stopping beside her. The footage shows the woman get into the taxi, and then the vehicle drives away.    

The court was told by defence senior counsel Lorcan Staines that it is accepted that the woman in the footage is the first complainant and that the taxi was being driven by his client.

A garda technical witness agreed with Staines that the woman is seen carrying a large bag in some of the footage, which she puts down on the street when she gets into the taxi.

The trial continues before Justice Paul McDermott and the jury.

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