Dog walker recalls help she gave woman who alleges attack by Tinder date

A dog walker has described coming to the assistance of a student who alleges she was attacked by a man she met on Tinder.

The 36-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the foreign national at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin on July 23, 2014.

On day five of the trial, Criona Cullen told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that she was out walking her dogs around the campus at around 10pm on that night.

She saw a woman who called to her “can you help me”, she testified. She said the woman's English was very poor.

She asked the woman was she hurt and the woman explained, in bad English, that she had met a man on Tinder and he had brought her to the campus but she didn't know where she was.

Ms Cullen said that the woman told her she had been in a car with the man and he had tried to have sex with her but she didn't want to. She told Ms Cullen that she managed to get away, the witness said.

Ms Cullen told counsel that the woman looked distressed. She said she told the woman she would help her and offered to either organise to get her home from her house or help her get a taxi from the campus.

“She had no idea where she was. She said she wanted to go home,” Ms Cullen said.

The witness said she hailed a taxi down for the woman. She gave her phone number to the taxi driver and told him if there was any issue with the woman being able to pay for the fare, she was happy to pay it.

A flatmate of the complainant told the trial that he met the complainant in the taxi when it arrived at their premises in Dublin city centre. He said she seemed “really scared and afraid”.

“Something serious had happened. She said that a guy tried to rape her,” the man said. He told Paul Flannery SC, defending, that his flatmate told him the man had taken her to “an abandoned area”.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of six men and six women.

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