Czech national denies rape of Galway woman

A 23-year-old Czech national has denied in evidence at the Central Criminal Court that he raped a Galway woman who had run up to him on the street and kissed him while he walked home.

The accused who was giving evidence in his defence at the end of the prosecution case has pleaded not guilty to raping and sexually assaulting the woman on her parked car in a Co Galway town.

The man told defence counsel, Mr Diarmaid McGuinness (with Mr Francis Comerford BL), he and the woman had kissed earlier and she had declined his invitation to her to "come home" with him.

She told him she had to get up early for work the following day but suggested after they had kissed some more that he might wait 30 minutes for her. He had told her he was leaving for his homeland the next day.

He said he then left the area outside the pub and started walking in the direction of his flat with his flatmate and the flatmate's girlfriend but stopped when he heard her call out to him.

The accused told Mr McGuinness the woman then "came up fast to me" and put her arms around him. He also put his arm around her waist and they kissed again. His friends told him they would leave their hall-door open for him and they went home.

He said she then moved him in the direction behind a bank where her car was and they had consensual sex until she said: "Wait, I can't", and started crying.

He said he stopped then but when he could not get her to explain why she was crying he went home.

The accused told prosecuting counsel, Ms Mary Ellen Ring SC (with Ms Karen O'Connor BL), in cross-examination, he was "happy but not drunk" when he left the bar.

He thought he first saw the complainant about 15 minutes after his arrival at the pub. That was before 11.30pm and he said he first spoke to her around 12 midnight and the second time at perhaps 12.30am.

He agreed with Ms Ring that it could have been 12.15am or 12.20am when he put his arm around her when she was at the bar buying drinks. She did not see him as she was facing away from him and he put his arm around her to get her attention. He denied he put his hand up her jumper.

The accused said he had been introduced to her some time before he spoke to her outside the bar for the first time and he put his arm around her inside after he had been speaking to her outside.

He said in further reply to Ms Ring that she did not tell him why she asked him to wait 30 minutes and he decided he would not wait but would go home with his friends to say goodbye to another friend.

She called after him on the street just as he began to walk home and the last thing she said to him before they started having sex was: "This is my car. It's not cold."

Nothing else was said before the sex began.

He said he moved back two steps when she started to cry and remained there two minutes trying to find out what had happened. When she did not reply he said he was going for cigarettes and left her sitting on the footpath beside her car.

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

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