Man convicted of rape of sleeping woman in Cork

The court heard that the defendant had changed his story a number of times
Man convicted of rape of sleeping woman in Cork

The man was found guilty by a majority 10-2 verdict by a jury of six men and six women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

A man who was put on trial by judge and jury for raping a woman while she slept has been found guilty by a majority 10-2 verdict.

The case was heard by Mr Justice Michael McGrath and a jury of six men and six women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

The jury took five hours and 41 minutes to reach their majority guilty verdict.

The defendant who is aged around 40 denied raping the woman who is of a similar age at her home in Cork on February 3, 2017.

Prosecution senior counsel Siobhán Lankford said a victim impact statement would have to be prepared in advance of sentencing in the case which was investigated by Detective Garda Eimear Brennan.

Mr Justice Murphy adjourned sentencing until July 6 and remanded the accused in custody until then.

The accused man's testimony

Ms Lankford told the jury the defendant said a number of things to gardaí and gave evidence in the witness box that differed from what he told gardaí. First, he told gardaí it did not happen – that there was no sexual intercourse. 

Then he said there was no sexual intercourse when she was asleep or unconscious and that it was something she initiated and that it was consensual. He also said this happened on a couch in the sitting room. He later said it occurred in a bed in a bedroom.

Ms Lankford alleged that the defendant had changed his evidence to explain DNA evidence of semen found in the bed that linked him to it.

Tom Creed, defence senior counsel, said in his closing speech to the jury at the end of the trial: “You have to consider all the evidence. There was sexual intercourse. I say to you in my humble opinion the prosecution case falls well short of proving an absence of consent in this case.” 

The woman's testimony

The complainant said that the accused was staying in the sitting room that night because he had been drinking and did not want to drive home.

She went to bed, dressed in a onesie pyjama and woke the next morning with the onesie unzipped and pulled down and her vaginal area felt sore. When she met the accused in another room in the house later that morning there was a verbal altercation, after which he left the house.

The complainant went to a sexual assault treatment unit where semen matching the accused’s DNA was found in her vagina. She testified that she never consented to sexual intercourse.

The accused denied rape and he said the complainant was not asleep but that she was awake when they had consensual sexual intercourse.

Cross-examined by Ms Lankford, he admitted that it was a lie when he said originally that they had sex on the couch.

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