Cork rape trial jury told majority verdict acceptable after deliberating for nearly five hours

Jury sent home and will resume deliberations on Monday
Cork rape trial jury told majority verdict acceptable after deliberating for nearly five hours

The defendant denies raping a 17-year-old as she slept in a spare room at an apartment where he and his girlfriend lived. Picture: iStock

A jury deliberated throughout today at a rape trial in the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork without reaching a verdict and they will continue their deliberations on Monday.

The jury of five men and seven women were sent home by Mr Justice Alexander Owens at 4.30pm and told to return to resume their deliberations on Monday.

The defendant denies raping a 17-year-old as she slept in a spare room at an apartment where he and his girlfriend lived.

The prosecution case was that the 25-year-old got into bed with the 17-year-old and tried to have sexual intercourse with her as she slept but that she woke up in the middle of it. 

The defendant said he went to the bathroom in her room, that she was awake, he sat down on the bed to chat with her, she squeezed his hand, kissed him, initiated matters and consented to sexual intercourse.

The total time spent in deliberation so far amounted to four hours and 47 minutes. They have now been told that a majority 10-2 or 11-1 verdict would be acceptable.

In her direct evidence the complainant, who is now 20, testified: “I don’t remember what bedroom I was in. Next thing I remember I was aware he was next to me. I asked him what he was doing, because I felt him in me. I felt his penis in my vagina.

“I asked him what he was doing. That is the next thing I remember. He asked me was I on the pill. I said, ‘yes’,” she said.

Prosecution senior counsel Tom Creed asked her, “Did you consent to him?” She replied, “Absolutely not. I did not do anything.” 

“Did he say anything before he left?” Mr Creed asked. She replied: “He told me not to tell anybody.” 

When the accused man, who is now 28 and was 25 at the time, was asked about telling the complainant not to tell anybody what they had done he said he did not want it known “because it would kill (girlfriend)” to find out.

Mr Creed SC said: “You cannot have thought much about (girlfriend) when it was happening.” 

The defendant replied, in relation to what he insisted was consensual sex, “What we did was wrong, it was immoral.” 

Mr Creed said, “It breaks your moral code.” The defendant replied, “Yes.” 

The defendant testified that he and his girlfriend brought the complainant and her parents and some others back to their apartment after a social night together in the early hours of August 27, 2017. The complainant’s parents went home at around 4am and the complainant later went to bed in a spare room in the apartment.

The accused said that after 5am he went into her room to use the en suite toilet, wearing a T-shirt and boxers. He said she was awake and he sat on the side of the bed chatting.

“As I was leaning on the bed her hand came to my hand and squeezed it. She pulled my hand towards her. Her other hand came up to my face, we were kissing. She was touching my penis outside my boxers. I was touching her private area outside her jeans,” he said.

The defendant testified that they both pulled down her jeans and she unclasped a bodysuit and they had consensual sexual intercourse. He said he asked her was she on the pill and she said she was.

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