Jury in Cork VIP party rape trial hears evidence from tour bus driver

Jury in Cork VIP party rape trial hears evidence from tour bus driver

The driver of a tour bus where a woman claims she was raped has told the jury that someone from within the bus closed his cab door cutting him off from the lounge area.

The bus was hired as part of a Jason Derulo tour that visited Cork in June 2014.

A woman claims she was raped by two men on the upper deck of the tour bus. She was 19 at the time.

She told the jury she was invited on after attending an aftershow party for the American musician and his crew in the Savoy nightclub in Cork.

She claimed the first accused man slipped his hand inside her jumpsuit before blocking her from getting off and forcing her upstairs by the arm.

The driver Patrick Bushby said he noticed a girl wearing a jumpsuit sitting on a sofa in the lounge area speaking to this man.

He said she got off some time later and was making her way to another bus when he followed her out and seemed to say something to change her mind.

He said they came back onto the bus together and he said someone from within closed his cab door, cutting him off from the lounge area.

Both men deny charges of rape and false imprisonment. Mr. Derulo is not facing any charges.

Mr Bushby went on to describe to Tim O'Leary SC, prosecuting, how Jason Derulo's manager told him there was an “after gig party” taking place at a Cork city nightclub, following the US singer's concert at The Marquee.

“At 1:40am I got a call asking me to come pick the band up. It's a nightmare. Individuals who have been drinking after a concert are like bees to honey when they see a tour bus,” he said.

Mr Bushby said it was absolutely chaotic outside the nightclub, with the area flooded with people, taxis, buses and cars.

“The bus was literally swamped with girls as soon as I opened the doors when I stopped,” he said.

He said 15-20 “merry people” on the bus were cleared by the tour manager, with the exception of one man and one girl.

He told the jury that from the driver's cab he could see a girl in an olive jumpsuit, sitting on a couch in the lounge area, talking to the 35-year-old accused. This defendant has previously being referred to as “cap guy”.

Mr Bushby said he observed the girl get off the bus and make her way towards another tour bus before she changed her mind after speaking to “cap guy”.

“So this girl was still on my bus and I was conscious of this as I wanted to head to the ferry. The bus was shaking about, as if there was a disco upstairs but I couldn't hear any music,” he said.

He told Mr O'Leary that this worried him and it continued for about 20 minutes.

He said that gardaí arrived at his bus ten minutes later, and informed him that there had been a report of an incident on his bus. Mr Bushby said the bus had a CCTV system, but the cameras only monitored the doors of the vehicle.

The jury also heard from a young woman who was attended the after-gig party at the nightclub.

She said she had previously worked in the nightclub as a hostess and knew its layout.

“I was 18 so meeting Jason Derulo was a huge thing. I was mad about him, and to meet someone so famous. My goal was to get a picture with him, but his bouncers said none were allowed,” she said.

She said there was boisterous behaviour and drink being poured everywhere in the VIP area of the nightclub.

“They were definitely smoking weed. It was crazy, because they're famous they were smoking inside and they definitely weren't allowed to do that,” she said.

The woman said she saw the complainant in the crammed, box-room VIP area, wearing a special wrist band. She said loads of people ran out of the nightclub to try to get onto the tour buses.

The complainant in this case alleges that a man identified as “cap guy” blocked her from getting off the tour bus. She claims he brought her upstairs, where he raped her, orally and vaginally, while they were “half in, half out of a bunk bed.”

She claims another larger man came over at one point and also raped her. The woman said she was terrified and asked them to stop, but they didn't. She said she managed to make her escape after a third man came over and said “I'm next.”

It is the prosecution case that “cap guy” is the 35-year-old accused and the larger man is the 44-year-old accused man.

Earlier in the trial, during cross examination, Sean Guerin SC, who is defending the 35-year-old accused, said his client accepts he had sex with the complainant, and accepts she performed oral sex on him, but doesn't accept consent was absent.

The defendants, aged 35 and 44 years old, deny the offences which are alleged to have occurred in a hired tour bus at an unknown location in Cork city on June 27, 2014.

The 35-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to rape, oral rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment of the then 19-year-old woman.

The 44-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to anal rape and false imprisonment of the woman on the same occasion. The accused men can not be identified for legal reasons.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of ten men and two women.

- Digital Desk and Sarah-Jane Murphy (CCC)

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