Galway man accused of rape told gardaí it was a consensual encounter which 'felt chemical'

By Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Galway man accused of orally raping a woman while giving her a lift home told gardaí they had a consensual encounter which “felt chemical”, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The man (46), who can't be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of oral rape at a Galway location in the early hours of November 5, 2015.

A local detective told his trial today that the accused described in interview how his face and the face of the complainant's “kind of met” and they kissed “passionately” as they were looking over the city from a vantage point.

The detective told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that the man said the complainant had indicated to him that he could drive towards this vantage point during the lift.

The accused said they hugged each other at this location and had a “fairly passionate kiss” before he pulled his van about 20 meters into a nearby housing estate.

The man told gardaí that he and the complainant engaged in “heavy petting” here, and oral sex began.

He said the encounter lasted only a few seconds before the complainant started repeating: “I've a boyfriend”.

The man said she then put her head back in the vehicle and “seemed suddenly out of it” by being unresponsive.

He told gardaí that the complainant sprang upright again and started shouting at him to get away from her.

He said she demanded her phone and wanted him to drive her to a garda station.

The detective told Mr Burns that the accused said he drove off feeling “panicky” when the complainant got out of his van. He said he got home and went to bed “very shook”, but didn't sleep.

The accused said in interview that the initial interaction with the complainant at the vantage point had been “very tender” and sensual, apart from her biting his lip while kissing.

He described how he had felt like a “Good Samaritan” by approaching her as she sat alone audibly crying on a park bench.

When gardaí asked him to explain why a woman 20 years younger would perform oral sex on him, he replied that, “it was more sensual” and that it “felt chemical” between them.

He said he was shocked by the complainant's allegations and didn't know why she would say such things, as he would never hurt anyone.

The detective agreed with Barry White SC, defending, that the complainant completed a lengthy statement and was afforded every opportunity to give her account of what had happened.

The detective further agreed that the accused had been contacted by gardaí under three hours before he presented voluntarily for interview.

She agreed that the man had answered all questions voluntarily and had no previous convictions.

The trial has reached its closing stages before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of four women and eight men. It resumes tomorrow.

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