Trial hears evidence from former colleague seeing the accused in a bed with a student

Trial Hears Evidence From Former Colleague Seeing The Accused In A Bed With A Student
The former colleague told Eoin Lawlor BL prosecuting that he began teaching in the school in 1992 and the accused was teaching there at the same time. Photo: PA
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Sonya McLean

A former colleague of a man accused of the sexual assault of six young men has told a jury that he found the accused and a female friend of the accused in bed with a current student of the school following a staff night out.

The 59-year-old man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of attempted anal rape and eight counts of sexual assault in relation to six complainants on dates between March 1991 and November 1997 at locations in Co Dublin.


The man was in his 30s at the time of the alleged offences, while the six complainants were then aged between 17 and 24.

The former colleague told Eoin Lawlor BL prosecuting that he began teaching in the school in 1992 and the accused was teaching there at the same time.

He said he went out with the accused and other staff members one night following the end of the school musical. He said towards the end of the night he realised he would have to get a taxi home and the accused offered for him to stay in his home nearby.

The man said he was sitting in the accused’s home chatting when a female friend of the accused arrived to the house.


He said a few minutes later, a current student of their school also called over.

This student is the fourth complainant in the case and the accused faces a charge of sexual assault in relation to him in late 1995. He was 17 years old at the time.

“I was shocked when I saw the student. I was upset. I avoided speaking to him because I was very uncomfortable, because he was a student. It didn’t feel right whatsoever as a teacher, a professional,” the man told Mr Lawlor.

He said he sat away from the student and didn’t speak to him. He agreed with counsel that “at a certain point the night began to wind down for him” and he began to look around, wondering where he was going to sleep.


He said it was suggested that he sleep on the couch. He moved the cushions from the couch and lay them on the floor, a blanket was provided for him and the three others left the room.

The man told Mr Lawlor that he didn’t know where they were going. “They left the room, and I was not sure where they went.”

Three faces

He said he woke up some time later and left the room in an attempt to find a bathroom. He walked into a room which he believed was the toilet and discovered it was a bedroom.

“There were three people in the bed,” the man told the jury with the student to the left, the accused in the middle and the accused’s female friend on the other side of the accused. He said he could see their three faces.


He said he closed the door, went to the toilet, returned to the sitting room, replaced the cushions on the couch and left the apartment.

The principal in the school at the time told the jury that he received a call to his office one afternoon telling him that there had been an incident the previous night that involved “sexual contact between a teacher and a student”.

This allegation relates to the first complainant and the accused faces a charge of sexually assaulting him in November 1997. He was 18 years old at the time.

The school principal said he went to the home of the particular student and asked him to write down what had happened. He said the teenager seemed scared, “he had his head down, he seemed frightened”.


He said he could not recall what the student said or what he did. Mr Lawlor read a statement into the record from the teenager and the man agreed that this is a statement that had been made to him at the time.

The statement included an allegation that the accused had sexually abused the teenager by touching his penis and performing oral sex on him.

The man said he had returned to the school and spoke to the school solicitor. He said the accused had called in sick that day, and he called to his home to see him that afternoon.

He said he recalled standing over the accused who was lying in bed, but he couldn’t recall who let him into the house.

The man told the jury that he cannot recall exactly what he said to the accused, but he said what the man said to him stuck in his mind.

“He said to me –‘ is it P45 time?’ I said ‘I am afraid it is.’ I can’t remember anything before or after that,” the man continued.

The man said he had to ensure that somebody was with him when he spoke to the accused that day in his home because there was “a duty of care to him”. He confirmed that the accused never returned to work as a teacher in the school.

The man agreed with Michael O’Higgins SC defending that there was “a drinking culture in the school” at the time that would not be approved of today.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and the jury.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at or visit Rape Crisis Help.  

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