A jury took 85 minutes yesterday to record a unanimous guilty verdict in the case of a 51-year-old man who raped a 12-year-old girl at a funfair almost 25 years ago.
The victim, who is now in her 30s, wept as the verdict was delivered by the four women and eight men of the jury.
What the jury had not been told was that this was a retrial of a case where another jury was discharged after finding they could not agree any verdict after several hours of deliberation in February last year.
On delivery of the jury verdict before lunchtime yesterday at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, Mr Justice Paul Carney said: “Declare the accused a sex offender, direct a victim impact report.”
Sentencing was then adjourned until Mar 4, 2014. The accused was remanded in custody. While he showed no visible reaction, some of his family wept after the verdict was handed down.
Mr Justice Carney thanked the jury and exempted them for life from further jury service.
“These cases are distressing for everyone,” he said.
The complainant testified that she was sent to a caravan for a message on the particular morning, but she said that the defendant’s wife and child were not present and that he was alone.
“I knocked and I walked in. It was a very small caravan. I can remember clearly that the bed was unmade. I stepped inside the door. He reached behind me and locked the door behind me.
“I stayed standing where I was. I don’t have any recollection of him opening his pants. What I remember is he did something to me.
“I didn’t know what he was doing. He inserted his penis in my vagina. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought he was after stabbing my privates because it was hurting. The pain shot up to my stomach.
“He was standing so close to me I was pinned against the wall. It is amazing the things you remember. I was looking over his shoulder. I knew it was wrong. I felt complete fear and confusion. His breath was on my face. I remember the smell of cigarette smoke. His teeth were disgusting, they were all brown and black.
“He continued to put his penis in my vagina. I remember I just froze to the absolute spot. It lasted for a few minutes. I remember I was wearing a denim skirt I bought from my confirmation money, it had brown suede panels,” she said.
In his evidence during the three-day trial he declared, “Nothing ever happened.”
“I was not in the caravan in 1989. Nothing ever happened. I wasn’t there. And I had no reason to, either.”
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