Donegal rape trial conviction

A man has been convicted of orally raping and sexually assaulting a female housemate in the Donegal house they shared.

A man has been convicted of orally raping and sexually assaulting a female housemate in the Donegal house they shared.

The 38-year-old man had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the charges that were alleged to have taken place on October 30, 2010.

The jury of five women and seven men returned its unanimous guilty verdict on day ten of the trial following two and half hours of deliberations.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy thanked the jury for its service and remanded the man in continuing custody to March next for sentence.

Earlier, the now 20-year-old woman told Mr Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, that she thought she was “going to die” when the man entered her bedroom and demanded she have sex with him.

She said that she vomited on the ground and urinated on herself when the man demanded she take her clothes off and told her: ‘jump on the bed, we are going to have sex.’

The victim, who was sharing a house with a number of tenants, including the man, said she had never met him before as he had been away from the house for several months when she moved in.

She said he arrived at her bedroom door at around 6pm that evening.

“He looked weird and scary and was breathing heavily,” she said.

“He told me to close my eyes that we are going to have sex. I thought it was a joke at first and told him there was no way we were going to have sex as I didn’t know him,” she said.

She said she became afraid then as he jumped on her on the bed and put his hands on her shoulders. A struggle ensued and the woman said both of them fell from the bed onto the floor.

“My face was on the floor and he was on my back with his hands over my mouth,” she recalled.

“He then got up and told me to take my clothes off and to jump on the bed because we were going to have sex.”

She said she did what she was told and the man took his clothes off but left his socks and shoes on.

“I peed myself and vomited on the ground and he started to squeeze my breasts really hard and started to touch my vagina.”

She said she asked him was he going to kill her.

“He then told me if I was a good girl and kept my mouth closed he wouldn’t,” she said.

She recalled that the man asked her to touch his penis to “get him hard” and agreed with Mr Condon that she did touch his penis.

“He asked me to suck his penis which I did and then I saw my mobile phone on the bed which I hid under my pillow to use later to call for help,” the woman said.

She recalled that the man started to hug and kiss her and she “went along with it as I did not want him to get angry again.”

The man claimed in evidence that he would never risk attacking a woman because the IRA would punish him.

“If anyone steps out of line in Donegal they’d be put out of the country,” he told Mr Desmond Murphy SC, defending.

“If I was stupid enough to attack some girl, it wouldn’t be the guards or the PSNI I’d be worried about. Do you think I’d do something like that and risked getting punished by the IRA?”

He initially claimed in interview that there was no contact between him and the woman and that he wasn’t even in the house at the time of the alleged attack.

He later said in evidence during the trial that there was sexual contact but that it was consensual and initiated by her.

The jury also heard from two forensic scientists with the State laboratory who examined clothing from the man and woman, the woman’s duvet covers and swabs taken from both of them.

Ms Bridget Flemming said she found 31 fibres from the woman’s duvet cover on the man’s socks and 10 matching fibres from his navy socks on the woman’s duvet cover.

She said there was salvia found on the swab taken from the man’s penis and she sent this forward for DNA profiling.

Ms Lee Gorman also said that an examination of swabs taken from under the man’s fingernails showed traces of the woman’s DNA.