The trial of three men accused of gang raping a woman at her Monaghan home after her boyfriend was beaten unconscious has collapsed at the Central Criminal Court.
It is alleged that the boyfriend was assaulted several times prior to her been locked in a wardrobe and then taken out and raped by each of the three accused. The accused men and alleged victims are all foreign nationals living in Ireland.
During her evidence at the Central Criminal Court, the woman was ordered to stand in front of the accused as they sat in the witness box and identify them. She identified two of the men as being in the house at the time but said she didn’t recognise the third.
The first named accused (28), who also lived in the house at the time, is alleged to have falsely imprisoned the woman, orally, vaginally and anally raped her and assaulted her and her partner causing them harm. The second accused (20) is accused of assaulting the couple, causing them harm, falsely imprisoning the woman and raping her vaginally and orally.
The third accused (20) is accused of vaginally raping her. The alleged attacks took place between the 15th and the 19th of November 2010. All three accused have pleaded not (NOT) guilty to all counts.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Mr Conor Devally SC, said that the couple moved into the house with one of the accused but that relations between them quickly deteriorated.
He said there was a “hostile, intimidating and bulling atmosphere” in the house and the male complainant was attacked several times
Mr Devally told the jury it will hear evidence the first accused took some friends back to the house in the early hours of November 19 and the woman and man were attacked. The violence escalated and the woman was thrown in a wardrobe and kept there for a short time.
She was then allegedly taken downstairs and raped by all three. Afterwards she went back upstairs to her husband and the gardai were alerted.
Speaking through an interpreter, the woman told Mr Devally that the first accused was angry because she had hidden a bottle of alcohol from him. The woman’s partner was allegedly “badly attacked” by the first accused. She said he told her partner “we will kill you or your woman.”
Her partner allegedly responded: “Don’t touch her, she’s pregnant.”
She said that in a later incident, her partner was punched and kicked before being knocked unconscious and left in the back yard. She said she tried to help him but one of the men stopped her.
She said she was then brought upstairs and put in a wardrobe. A bed was pulled over in front of it to stop her getting out. She said she didn’t know how long she was there before her attackers returned and dragged her by the hair to a downstairs bedroom.
She said she was forced to drink from a bottle of vodka and then raped by the first accused as the other two laughed. At that point in her evidence the court adjourned for the weekend.
The accused men and alleged victims are all foreign nationals living in Ireland.
Yesterday (Monday), Mr Justice Paul Carney told the jury of seven men and five that their service as a jury for this trial was at an end and exempted them from jury duty for life.
The case remains in the list before Mr Justice Carney when a re-trial may be ordered.