The Central Criminal Court
The jury in the trial at the Central Criminal Court of a Donegal teenager accused of raping a schoolmate is due to begin its deliberations today.
The accused (19) has denied one count of rape and another of oral rape of a then 16-year-old girl behind a building in a town in Co Donegal in the early hours of March 18, 2016.
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy yesterday concluded her charge to the jury in which she went back over all the evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses.
She reminded the jury that it must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to evidence given before deciding on a verdict.
The judge told the jurors that it was up to them to decide whether or not there were inconsistencies in the complainant's evidence, and of the significance of any inconsistencies or otherwise.
Ms Justice Murphy also instructed jurors to ask themselves, if they were giving an account of an event that was traumatic in their own lives, whether they would give exactly the same account, or whether there might be differences.
In his earlier closing speech to the jury, Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, said the injuries to the girl were “not consistent with a willing, voluntary sexual encounter, but injuries consistent with the violent, unwilling, forced sexual encounter described by the complainant”.
Mr McGrath said the complainant had been “consistent throughout”.
He said it was a difficult case but the evidence stacked up against the accused.
Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, submitted in his closing speech that that there were significant gaps in the complainant's memory about what had happened on the night.
Mr O'Higgins referred to a CCTV recording of the teenagers walking together after the alleged incident and suggested this was “a devastating piece of footage with respect to the credibility of the (complainant)”.
The trial has heard that a garda filed a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions in which he described how the complainant did not appear to be “overtly upset” in this footage. The trial continues before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of seven men and four women.