Man, 74, directed to be found not guilty on 36 sex assault charges.
A woman claimed she was sexually assaulted repeatedly as a child by man who was in a relationship with her grandmother and that her granny facilitated the abuse.
The accused man, who is now 74, denied 36 charges of sexual assault over a nine year period throughout the 1990s and was put on trial before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury of six men and six women of the jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Tom Creed, defending, referred to the complainant’s hospitalisation for psychiatric difficulties in the past and the young woman confirmed this yesterday.
At the close of the prosecution evidence, Mr Creed applied to the judge to direct the jury to return verdicts of not guilty by direction of the judge because of contradictions in the prosecution evidence between the complainant and her mother and aunt. He also referred to her hospitalisation for psychiatric treatment.
Judge Ó Donnabháin agreed to direct the jury to return not guilty verdicts on all counts.
At the end of legal submissions in the absence of the jury the judge said: “This is not a case of evidential instability or inconsistencies, the prosecution is fundamentally and basically unstable.”
The judge said it was hard to see any credible evidence of the complaints and that there would be a risk of a wrongful conviction.
The complainant testified during the trial that the alleged incidents occurred when she was on occasional sleepovers at her grandmother’s house.
She said she would be sitting in the living room watching television and her grandmother would tell her to sit on the defendant’s lap when she was wearing a nightgown and underwear. She said he would put his hands under her night attire, through her underwear and rub her vagina.
“My grandmother knew he was sexually abusing me and could see it on every occasion.
“Although she never joined in on the sexual assaults she never stopped it and even enabled it.
“Both of them would hug and kiss me and send me off to bed afterwards.”
“My vagina was always sore and irritated after the abuse,” she said.
The alleged assaults occurred between ages of five and 13.
The defendant denied any of this. The defence senior counsel referred to the defendant’s statements to gardaí where he said he treated her like she was his own child, that he never sexually abused her.
He denied he ever touched her in any indecent way. He may have kissed and cuddled her to say good night but he was shocked these allegations were made against him.
He says absolutely he never touched her in any indecent way. Mr Creed said the complainant’s grandmother was absolutely shocked these things are being claimed.
During his submission to have the jury directed to deliver not guilty verdicts, he said the complainant swore she told mother and aunt of penetration of her vagina by the defendant’s fingers but that both mother and aunt said no such complaint was made to them and if it had they would have gone to the guards.
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