Dublin News

Man convicted of raping wife's friend in Dublin park

Man convicted of raping wife's friend in Dublin park
Courts of Justice generic

A man convicted of the rape of his wife's friend in a Dublin park almost five years ago has been told he faces an “immediate and substantial sentence”.

The 55-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to rape in September 2019 in a park following a party at his house.

The jury in the Central Criminal Court returned a unanimous guilty verdict on Wednesday after a trial lasting four days.

They deliberated for around three hours and 23 minutes.


Rejecting a defence application to continue the man’s bail until sentencing, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said: “The law is quite clear in these circumstances; an immediate and substantial sentence is the norm.”

He remanded the man in custody and said he would consider any mitigation, including the man's lack of previous convictions, on the next date.

Mr Justice Hunt adjourned the case to March 1st and directed the preparation of a victim impact statement.

The man made no visible reaction as the jury's verdict was read out.


Mr Justice Hunt expressed his “profound thanks” to the jurors for “their logical and methodical” approach, which he said is required from juries “in difficult cases like this”.

He told them: “Your verdict was a prompt one and, in light of the evidence, I think unsurprising.”

Mr Justice Hunt exempted the 11 jurors from jury service for 10 years. The 12th juror was discharged due to illness on the third day of the trial and was given an exemption of seven years.


In his opening speech, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, said it is the State's case that the man raped the complainant in a park after a party at his house.


He said the man denied any wrongdoing when interviewed by gardaí and claimed sexual contact was initiated by the complainant.

The woman told Mr Gillane that she had been a friend of the accused's wife for many years and went to a party at her house where she had “had a few drinks, but nothing more than I would have had before”.

During the party, the man walked in on her when she was in the bathroom and said, “I could have you now.”

The complainant said she thought this was “a bit strange” but “brushed it off”.

She refused offers to be walked home in order to help with the tidying.

When she was leaving, her friend insisted the accused walk her home. She was reluctant, but eventually agreed.

I’d love to be able to say I fought really hard.

When they reached a gate at the park, the man asked her to speak to his wife on his behalf.

“This was the first time we had spoken in over five years. I was a bit flabbergasted about where this was this coming from... I thought it was all a joke.”

She refused, then continued home through the park. The next thing she remembered was waking up and feeling “cold, sore and wet”.

She said she felt a weight on her, then realised the accused was raping her.

“I’d love to be able to say I fought really hard. I felt I was going to be sick... I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t think.”

She said she got up and went home, feeling “very weak and unsteady” after the man left.

She told another friend the following Monday what had happened. She subsequently attended a sexual assault treatment unit before making a statement to gardaí.


Transcripts from the man's four garda interviews were read to the jury before he gave evidence on his own behalf.

In his garda interviews, he said the complainant was the last person in this house after the party and was “very drunk”.

He insisted on walking her home, and she lay down on the ground in the park and slept for around 20 minutes.

He was standing there when, “Suddenly she sat up, opened her legs, and said 'Take me'.”

The man said he told her to go home, and she replied: “Just do it, then I'll go home.”

He claimed he walked away and on his return, she grabbed him and performed oral sex. He said he replied “no” and she became abusive before they went home separately.

In another interview, he said he was trying to stop the woman from falling. He claimed the woman then performed oral sex, before pulling him, and he fell on top of her with his penis still out of his trousers.

The man initially denied having sexual intercourse with the woman, but later said: “I don’t think I did, I honestly don’t remember.”

'Somewhat crazy'

The man later said that it was possible he ejaculated when he fell and could have penetrated her vagina, adding he did not know or think that he did.

Gardaí suggested his story sounded “somewhat crazy” and he replied it was “all so quick and crazy, but that’s what happened.”

Asked if sex took place accidentally, the man replied: “I can’t say whether or not it did.”

Jurors were told the man was interviewed again after forensic analysis found his DNA on samples taken when the woman attended a sexual assault treatment unit.

Gardaí asked if he was “insinuating” that the complainant “made him have sex”, to which he replied, “the oral part”.

The man said the woman pulled him down and “I'm not sure if I entered her...the ground was wet and slippy, I could have slipped in.”

When gardaí expressed surprise, he said: “It could have happened.”


In his direct evidence, the man said there was a “closeness” between him and the complainant, including kissing several years before this night.

He said there was consensual sex in the park that night, but he did not tell this to gardaí as he was in a “state of shock”.

During cross-examination, Mr Gillane asked the accused if he developed “some type of sexual fixation” on the complainant during the party. He replied: “I don't know.”

He continued, “I can honestly say I did not rape her, 100 per cent. My intention was not to rape her, and I didn’t rape her.”

Asked again if he had “a sexual fixation” on her, the man replied: “It was on both sides.”

He agreed he gave several versions of events to gardaí as he “panicked”.

He also replied “totally incorrect” when Mr Gillane suggested there was nothing to support a relationship of any kind between him and the complainant.

The case will return before the court on March 1st for sentencing.

By Eimear Dodd & Beat News

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website Beat102103.com.