Dublin man appeals rape conviction

Dublin man appeals rape conviction

A man jailed for the rape and sexual assault of a seven-year-old boy has appealed his conviction on grounds that a VHS tape of his garda interviews was played at the wrong moment to his jury and seven words “slipped in” which prejudiced him.

Clive Dwyer (aged 32) of Mill Park, Clondalkin Dublin 22, pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to four counts of sexual assault, three counts of oral rape and one count of anal rape committed against a seven-year-old boy in his Kildare home on dates between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2002.

He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to nine years imprisonment by Mr Justice George Birmingham on January 21, 2013.

The Court of Appeal heard today that during the trial the prosecution played portions of Dwyer's garda interviews to the jury on VHS tape.

The court heard the tape was stopped a little prematurely, it was played again and seven words were heard by the jury: “I wasn't around kids. I haven't been...”

Counsel for Dwyer, Patrick Gageby SC, said the seven words were prejudicial.

They emerged without any context and transgressed what was contained in memorandums of interview presented to the jury, the contents of which were agreed by both sides.

The court heard that the prosecution accepted it was a mistake and there was an error but in the end it didn't matter.

Mr Gageby said the prosecution could not argue that it did not matter because the video was inconsistent with the previously agreed, and edited, memorandums of interview that were presented to the jury.

It was inconsistent for them to say it wasn't appropriate material to lay before the jury and then to say 'so what' when it had slipped in, Mr Gageby said.

He said VHS tapes were not the best to play right in front of the jury because any difficulties would be “live” and he suggested the use of pre-edited DVDs instead.

Mr Gageby said the prosecution were obliged to marshal the evidence in such a way that was consistent with the memorandums of interviews presented to the jury, the contents of which had been agreed between the parties.

When asked by Mr Justice John Edwards whether he was making too much of this, Mr Gageby said he was not.

It was a very serious case in the Central Criminal Court with very serious consequences and the prosecution had acknowledged the material as prejudicial by excluding it from the agreed memorandums of interview.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Eileen O'Leary SC, said no prejudice was caused by the “error” and it couldn't be considered prejudicial in the context of the case given what had been read to the jury already.

She said a question from the foreman of the jury did not refer in any way shape or form to the seven words on the video.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, said the court would reserve its decision to a date as soon as possible.


More in this Section

Cork couple repatriated home from Peru fear they may have virusCork couple repatriated home from Peru fear they may have virus

Arrest after man, 20s, discovered with multiple stab wounds at Cork bus stopArrest after man, 20s, discovered with multiple stab wounds at Cork bus stop

Taoiseach thanks Chinese premier for assistance regarding 'supply of essential medical equipment'Taoiseach thanks Chinese premier for assistance regarding 'supply of essential medical equipment'

Former government chief whip is first person elected to new SeanadFormer government chief whip is first person elected to new Seanad


Lifestyle

It’s amazing what you become thankful for when you go down with suspected coronavirus and enter self-isolation, says Ella Walker.10 things self-isolation makes you really appreciate

Suddenly those Facebook groups are a godsend…Social media can be a true support in isolation – here’s how

If isolation means your locks are already out of control, it might be time to take matters into your own hands, says Prudence Wade.Everything you need to know about cutting your hair at home

It might feel unnatural to breathe deeply, but it can help to calm an overactive mind. Liz Connor reveals how to inhale and relax.3 breathing exercises to help with stress and anxiety

More From The Irish Examiner