Man found on top of woman who had passed out, court hears

Following a house party during which drink and anti-depressant tablets were taken, a man was found half naked on top of a woman who had been put to bed after passing out, a court heard.

Fergal Byrnes, aged 26, of Lisheen Park, Patrickswell, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman at an address in Dooradoyle on December 4, 2009.

A jury at Limerick Circuit Court was told yesterday the alleged victim was 20 at the time and going out with a friend of the accused.

Opening the case, John O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said it was alleged the assault occurred in a downstairs bedroom after a number of people got together for a party.

Mr O’Sullivan said it was the prosecution case that Mr Byrnes came to the house some time after midnight.

During the party, drink was consumed and tablets known as Upjohns were also passed around.

The alleged victim at some stage passed out on a couch. She was put to bed in her downstairs room by her friends.

One woman who was at the party, and cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the alleged victim, said in evidence she helped put her friend, who was wearing a jeans and a top, to bed.

Some time later, the witness said she and her boyfriend decided to go to bed.

She became aware that the accused had gone into her friend’s room and went there.

On opening the door and turning on the light she saw the accused, who was naked from the waist down, on top of her friend who was still asleep and had nothing on from the waist down.

After alerting another woman in the house, she ran back to the bedroom and pulled Mr Byrnes off her friend who was still asleep. The witness said she was shocked.

Mr Byrnes told her to go away, calling her a “whore”.

She and another woman told him to leave the bedroom and put their friend’s clothes back on.

The trial before Judge Tom O’Donnell and a jury of six men and six women continues.


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