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Jury retires in trial of Polish man accused of rape in Offaly

Story by Tom Kelly

Friday, 23rd October, 2009 9:17am

A jury of nine men and three women is considering a verdict in the case of a Polish man on trial for raping his ex-girlfriend after tying up her boyfriend in their Offaly home.

The man has admitted to the jury he assaulted and threatened the new boyfriend. However, has pleaded not guilty to entering the house as a trespasser while armed with a bladed weapon and a weapon capable of discharging a noxious liquid gas, false imprisonment of both the complainant and her boyfriend, aggravated sexual assault, oral rape, rape and raping her with a vibrator on November 25, 2007.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the complainant's boyfriend on the same date.

At the conclusion of the evidence in the case on Wednesday, the defendant's counsel, Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, read out a list of acts he admitted committing on the day of the offence.

Mr Dwyer told the jury his client admitted entering the house with a knife and assaulting the complainant's boyfriend. He also admitted making some, but not all, of the alleged threats against the couple.

The defendant continued to deny the remaining charges. He further denied allegations that he made threats against the boyfriend's daughter.

The jury of three women and nine men retired to consider a verdict yesterday (Thursday) after being charged by Mr Justice Peter Charleton.

Earlier this week the new boyfriend of the woman told the jury that was tied up with ropes and duct tape in his county Offaly home by his girlfriend's ex-partner and forced to watch as she was "sexually violated" by the man.

The witness agreed with Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that although he gave a detailed description that night to the gardai of a brutal assault on him, he never mentioned to them that the accused "had gone further and raped and sexually violated your girlfriend in front of you".

He admitted he had informed one investigating garda over the phone within a few days of the alleged incident but said that he did not make a formal written complaint until a month later, when he had a chance to speak to his girlfriend properly.

He denied that the reason he never mentioned it was because his girlfriend was never sexually assaulted or raped by the accused that night. He earlier told Mr Eanna Mulloy SC (with Mr Fergal Foley BL), prosecuting, that he woke up that night after he felt his eyes burning. He said the accused put a knife to his throat and threatened him before tying up his hands and legs.

The witness said sometime later the accused sat his girlfriend in front of him on the bed, pulled across her dressing gown and fondled her breasts before he fondled her vagina and penetrated it with a vibrator and forced him to look.

A garda who arrived at the home of the county Offaly man to investigate an assault told the jury this week that his girlfriend did not report a sexual assault or rape to her.

The garda told Mr Eanna Mulloy SC, prosecuting, that she noticed that the complainant's boyfriend had long cuts across his body, a deeper shorter cut to his cut, cuts to the back of his head and he seemed to have irritated eyes. She said the complainant had a cut to the back of her head and was quiet, trembling and very pale.

The man brought her upstairs to the bedroom where he claimed the initial attack had taken place and she described the room as dishevelled with blood stains on the floor.

He showed her another room where she could see silver duct tape and rope on the ground.

The jury also heard from a forensic scientist, who revealed she found no semen on the body or clothing of the woman.

Dr Eva Clarke, of the Forensic Science Lab, told Mr Eanna Mulloy SC, prosecuting, that she found no semen on the woman's genital area, her underwear or stockings but found her boyfriend's DNA on a tape lift taken from a blood stain on the accused's ear.

Dr Clarke said she also found a DNA mixture of the accused and the woman's boyfriend on an orange carton taken from the scene. The jury retired yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to consider a verdict and at the time of going to print a verdict had not yet been reached.