Jury fails to reach verdict in sexsomnia trial

Jury fails to reach verdict in sexsomnia trial

The jury in the trial of man accused of raping his friend following a night out in Dublin has been discharged having been unable to reach a verdict.

The 29-year-old, who cannot be named to protect his friend’s identity, claimed he suffers from sexsomnia and has no memory of having sex with her.

The jurors were told they could return a majority verdict just before lunchtime, but returned at 2.46pm to tell Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy they were unable to reach a verdict.

When asked if more time would be of any benefit, the jury foreman said they were “fairly far apart” and he did not believe they would reach an agreement of at least 10.

The alleged rape was said to have happened while they shared a bed in another friend’s apartment following a night out in Dublin in September 2008.

She said she awoke to find the man having sex with her. He said he had no recollection of it, but conceded it may have happened.

His defence was that he suffers from sexsomnia – a condition that can result in sufferers carrying out sexual acts while asleep.

The jurors heard conflicting medical evidence at the end of the trial, and were unable to agree on a verdict after eight hours and 15 minutes of deliberations.

The accused made very little reaction afterwards, and the DPP will now have to decide whether he should be tried again.

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