Woman previously beat me up, says rape accused

A Wexford man accused of orally raping and sexually assaulting his former partner told gardaí that he had been beaten up by the woman on at least one occasion and claimed that she was “good with the hands” when angered.

The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed in interview that the complainant previously “beat the head” off him and tried to slash her wrists after the pair had argued over their relationship.

He also told gardaí that the complainant had asked him to hit her several times in the weeks prior to the alleged assault.

The accused man has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault, oral rape and false imprisonment of the woman on August 6, 2007.

Garda Grace Cunningham told Mr Gerard Clarke SC, prosecuting, that the man said in interview that on the morning of the alleged assault he had coffee with the complainant at her house.

He said the pair talked about his wish to move out of the house and resolved some differences which had arisen following an argument earlier in the week.

Later that afternoon the man said he had consensual sex involving a belt and a riding crop with the woman.

The man said this was “regular” and that the woman had wanted to have sex in this way.

The man then left the house, telling the woman he was going to work but instead going to the local pub where he had five pints with some friends.

The woman later joined him in the pub, where she asked him if he was going to “beat her”. The man replied that he would but told gardaí that he had no intention of doing so.

After the woman had left the pub, the accused man said he went to her house to collect his belongings as he still wished to move out of the house. He accepted that he telephoned the woman while en-route to the house, but denied telling her he was going to assault her.

The man said that when he got to the house he found the front door open and made himself a cup of coffee. He said the woman then locked herself in the bathroom and refused to come out.

He told gardaí that he kicked-in the bathroom door as he had not heard the woman speak in some time and was afraid she may have harmed herself.

The man denied sexually assaulting the complainant at any stage and told gardaí he believed he was being accused as the woman had told him that if she could not “have him”, then no one would.

The man admitted that he sent a text message to the woman after the alleged assault saying he was “sorry”, but said he was expressing his remorse over the end of their relationship rather than any wrongdoing on his part.

Gda Cunningham agreed with Mr Paddy McCarthy SC (with Mr Colman Cody BL), defending, under cross examination, that the accused man had been greatly upset and frustrated at the allegations made against him and that he told gardaí that he loved the complainant and her children “to bits”.

Garda Michael Lee told Mr Clarke that when arrested by gardaí in connection with the alleged sexual assault, the accused expressed his surprise and said: “I am supposed to only have beaten the living c**p out of her”.

Gda Lee agreed with Mr Cody, during cross examination, that the accused man likely said this as he was aware of rumours that he had assaulted his former partner.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

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