Man allegedly raped woman after meeting her in GAA club, trial told

This is the first trial that has taken place in the Courts of Criminal Justice since the onset of the pandemic.
Man allegedly raped woman after meeting her in GAA club, trial told
Courts of Criminal Justice, Dublin, where the trial is taking place before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of five women and seven men. File photo.

A Westmeath man is alleged to have anally raped a woman in his home after meeting her in a GAA club, a trial has heard.

The 33-year-old man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to anal rape on January 1, 2017.

This is the first trial that has taken place in the Courts of Criminal Justice since the onset of the pandemic.

The jurors were brought into the court by the jury minder in groups of three rather than all at once, which would be the normal practice.

Six of the jurors sat on single spaced out chairs at the back of the courtroom rather than sitting in the jury box. The remaining six jurors sat in spaced out seating in the jury box.

In her opening address to the jury today, Orla Crowe SC, prosecuting, told the jury it would hear during the trial that on New Year's Eve 2016, the complainant in this case attended along with her friend at a GAA club, where she met the accused man.

Ms Crowe said that the woman got on well with the accused man and was driven back to the man's house. She said that the woman was then subjected to an anal rape.

Counsel said the jury would hear evidence about how the woman asked him to stop, struggled with him and ended up on the floor having been on a couch. The woman remained in the accused's house during the night.

Ms Crowe said that the woman was driven by the accused man to her friend's house the following morning. She said the woman told her friend what had happened that day and made a complaint to gardaí the following day.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and the jury of five women and seven men.

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