‘No one sober’ on night of alleged sexual assault

No one was sober on the night of an alleged sexual assault by a 53-year-old man on another male, aged 44, a female witness, one of the three people in the bed, told the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee yesterday.

The man denies the assault at a house in Killarney, Co Kerry, on May 31, 2015 .

The woman said when they returned to the house for a fry-up and nightcap, the accused placed his hand up the jumper of the complainant who asked him to stop, “please”. He did it a second time and again was asked to stop and when he did not, the complainant moved seats, she told Tom Rice, prosecuting.

There was only one spare bed in the house. She was under the duvet, with all her clothes except her shoes on; the complainant was over the duvet with his clothes on, and at some stage, she “vaguely remembered her sister coming to the room to say the accused was in the bed too.

“My next recollection is the sound of a belt being opened and I remember [the complainant] saying “will you stop... will you leave me alone. Will you eff off…!” the woman said.

“And I turned around and said what are you talking about? And [the complainant] said “who’s that?” And I said it’s me!” The complainant then said “Who the fuck is behind me and he jumped out of bed”, she continued. When she looked over she could see the accused’s “naked” buttock.

“I saw his bum. I could see that,” she insisted under cross-examination by Mark Nicholas, defending. She knew both men a long time — what had occurred was out of character for the accused, she agreed. She said “there was none of us sober... when you have drink taken, you are not sober.”

The man was arrested and interviewed by appointment, accompanied by his solicitor on June 16 at Killarney Garda Station. The transcript was read by Mr Rice. The accused said he did go to the bed where two people were already asleep and he got in around the side of the bed. But “he did not do any of the other stuff.” He also said he removed his top but kept his jeans on. He had not been drinking since the previous December and had gone on a “big bender” on the night. He had had 12 pints between 9pm and midnight, and was buying two pints for himself every time he went to the bar. He had two glasses of rosé in the house; and was on various medications also. He admitted he was intoxicated — but he did not sexually assault the other man.

He had no previous convictions.

In his closing argument, Mr Nicholas said “this is a curious type of case”. While still under the umbrella of sexual assault, he said this involved “a group of friends who got on well, “drank a lot”, and “crashed out in the house on the night in question”.

The trial, presided over by Judge John Hannan, is expected to conclude today.

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