A Department of Social Protection official has denied asking a woman, who was claiming benefit while working, for oral sex in return for getting her out of trouble.
Andrew Gilmartin, 47, of Drumfad, Grange, Co Sligo, pleaded not guilty to coercion. He denies compelling a woman to do an act which “she was lawfully entitled to abstain from” at the Social Welfare offices in Cranmore, Sligo on April 9, 2014.
The mother of four wept as she told Judge Keenan Johnson and a jury of six men and six women at Sligo Circuit Court that the accused became angry during an interview at his workplace. She got a letter from Revenue in April 2014 and they knew she was signing on and working. She decided to go into the social welfare office to sort it out.
Andrew Gilmartin called her into an interview room and she told him she was looking for help “as I was in a bit of trouble”. She told him she had been signing on for five or six weeks and he replied it was okay and they would be able to sort it out.
He asked her if there was anything else she wanted to tell him. When she said she was doing the Junior Cert he got angry and told her this was more serious and that it was fraud. He left the room for a few minutes and when he came back he locked the door on his side. He leaned across the desk and locked the door on her side. The woman said he paced with his hands in his pockets and seemed in deep thought. After a few minutes he said he would help “but we would have to keep it between himself and myself”. The accused said he would pull a few strings “to get me out of the trouble I was in” and she thanked him.
The woman told Dara Foynes BL, State counsel, she had told the defendant it was her son’s birthday and she wanted to get him something. The woman told the jury that the accused asked her “what would I do for him” and she ignored that.
She told the jury: “He sat down, with his feet up on the table and put his hand behind his head.” She said the accused said “here’s how it is going to happen. You are going to give me a blow job”. The woman said she replied “no, I am not”. She said she ran, unlocked the door and kept on running until she got to Dunnes Stores where she rang her partner.
The trial continues today.
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