I was sexually assaulted under Christmas tree, claims woman
A woman has today described to a jury how she recalled staring up at a Christmas tree while a man sexually assaulted her in a room with other people.
The woman, who revealed she had been drinking heavily at the time, said she remembered “a lot of shouting going on” from others and her own fear and pain while she lay naked on her back in the room.
The 37-year-old man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman with an object by penetrating her with a broom handle in Kerry on January 7, 2011.
The complainant told Michael Durack SC, prosecuting, that she didn’t know whether she had stumbled or tripped, but recalled experiencing “not a normal pain” as she drifted in and out of consciousness while the man sexually assaulted her.
She said she’d been drinking in the house where the alleged incident had happened and at some point went to lie down in one of the bedrooms. She woke up to feel cold liquid with a “distinct smell of bleach” being poured over her by a female.
She said the accused had also been present, but hadn’t poured any bleach.
The woman next recalled being back in the sitting room wearing different clothes as people were “coming in and out”.
She got up to go to the bathroom and on the way back she said she “stumbled or was tripped”. She remembered hearing the broom being broken.
The woman said the accused put this broom into her.
“I just remembered the look in that man’s eyes,” she said.
She was taken out of the house after the assault and put to bed in another premises. The next day she went to her mother’s house, where she stayed for a few weeks bleeding and in pain.
“I couldn’t lie down. It (the pain) was just incredible,” she said.
She told Mr Durack she used sanitary pads for the bleeding and eventually went to a male friend’s house to drink.
She drank for 16 days until it “got to the stage the drink didn’t work” and she told the friend what had happened to her.
She said gardaí came to the house after this friend told them her allegations and she was brought to hospital.
Brendan Grehan SC, defending, put it to the woman that the hospital reported no injuries to her private parts.
She accepted her visit to another hospital might have been drink related but said she had a clear memory of going into the house prior to the alleged attack.
She accepted she might have had drink related blackouts, but denied memory lapses of whole days.
Mr Grehan put it to her that the same male friend told gardaí he had heard something from a person who had been in the house during the alleged incident and had informed her mother about it over the phone.
He put it to her that at the time she had laughed at what the friend told her mother.
The complainant denied she had laughed but said she hadn’t wanted her mother to know.
She told Mr Grehan she didn’t recall being put in a bath after the bleach incident or how she’d become naked, but denied counsel’s suggestion that she might have been disinhibited saying: “I wouldn’t be inclined to take off clothes.”
Mr Grehan put it to her that his client hadn’t done anything to her and that “it is the case that you have no real memory of what happened.”
The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of seven women and five men.
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