Accused knew victim was raped - Court told

Shortly after an ambulance arrived at the scene where a 22-year-old woman was found lying in dense undergrowth in a park in Co Cork an 18-year-old local man told three of his neighbours the woman had been "beaten and raped".

Shortly after an ambulance arrived at the scene where a 22 year-old woman was found lying in dense undergrowth in a park in Co Cork an 18-year-old local man told three of his neighbours the woman had been "beaten and raped".

At the Central Criminal Court today the three individuals told a murder trial jury that they recalled meeting the young man at Inishmore Square, Ballincollig after 8pm on the night Rachel Kiely was found dead in a nearby park.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies the murder and rape of Ms Kiely at the Regional Park, Ballincollig, Co Cork on October 26, 2000.

Mrs Josephine McCoy told prosecution counsel Mr Patrick J McCarthy that on the night in question she went onto the street to see what was wrong when she saw an ambulance across the road from her house.

Mrs McCoy said she "spoke a few words" with two neighbours on the street and as they stood there the accused came along.

"I said (to the accused) 'what had happened' and he replied that Rachel Kiely had been beaten and raped," Mrs McCoy said.

In cross-examination she said that while she was "shocked" by the news at first she "didn't think it was relevant" that the accused told her these details so soon after the discovery of the young woman's body.

"What came out afterwards was exactly what had been told to me that night," she told Mr Blaise O'Carroll SC for the defence.

When counsel asked her what that was, she replied, "that Rachel Kiely had been raped...when it came out afterwards how Rachel had died I remembered hearing those words," she said.

Another local woman, Mary O'Sullivan gave evidence that she had a "flashback" following an airing of a reconstructing of the events on the 'Crimeline' programme.

She too recalled the accused man saying that Ms Kiely had been "beaten and raped" on the night of October 26.

"It was something like a flashback, it just clicked," she said. "My partner was there and I said to him, "how did (the accused) know, when no one else knew?" she told Mr O'Carroll.

Both women said they did not communicate with each other before telling the gardai what they remembered.

"It was just annoying me, it was like a confession to a priest, so I just said it (to the gardai)," Mrs O'Sullivan said.

Her partner Brian Clarke said he thought it was "very funny that someone could know something that you couldn't possibly know and that nobody else knew".

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury.

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