The friend of a student allegedly raped by two men has told a trial she underestimated how drunk she and her friend were.
But Senior Counsel for the defence put it to the alleged rape victim that her detailed description given to gardaí of the route she took home was “not a description of someone who was blind drunk and hasn’t a clue where they are”.
The complainant's friend told the trial today she heard the alleged victim moaning and saying the word “harder” during sex.
The complainant was a student at a college in Co Donegal in February 2015 when she says the two defendants raped her after a night of drinking.
In the trial at the Central Criminal Court, the men, who have a legal entitlement to anonymity, have pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape of the woman in a town in the county.
The defendants are now aged 29 and 33 and are residents of Donegal. The complainant is now aged in her 20s. The alleged rape happened after she and her female friend accepted a lift from two men at the end of a night out and ended up in an apartment. She earlier told the trial she was too drunk to consent to any sexual activity.
Giving evidence the complainant's friend told the jury they were both “very bad” in the way of intoxication, adding she thought the complainant “was worse”. She said that back in the apartment she remembers being offered a vodka drink but declining. She viewed some video taken of the complainant in the bathroom being lifted to her feet by two men.
She said her next memory is helping her friend into bed and laying beside her. “I remember I lay beside her and then all of a sudden the lights were off. I could have closed my eyes for a minute. Next I remember one of the guys was on top of [the complainant].
“I couldn't tell [which one]. He was having sex with her. The other guy was on my side. I remember [the complainant] saying harder. The guy beside me tried to put his penis inside me but I put my hands in front of myself and said no no no.
“The guy on top of [the complainant] left the room and then the guy who had his hands up my dress went over to her and started having sex with her as well...I heard some moaning.” She said the next morning she woke up on the bed and one of the men was lying between her and the complainant.
“I was still drunk. We were both really confused, we didn't know where we were. We were looking for her purse and her bag.” She said they were chatting to the men and the complainant asked one of them for cannabis weed.
Under cross-examination she agreed that in the days after the incident she told gardai that the complainant “seemed drunk, she seemed ok drunk, she didn’t seem that bad.”
She told the jury: “From the very start I underestimated how drunk we were. In hindsight, looking back on it all. Not remembering things like coming out of the nightclub illustrates how drunk we were.”
Earlier in the trial Barry White SC, defending, put it to the complainant that her detailed description given to gardaí of the route she took home was “not a description of someone who was blind drunk and hasn’t a clue where they are.”
The woman replied that it was a route she knew very well. She said her last memory is of her friend coming into her in the bathroom and saying “we have to go”. She told Mr White that she was given to talking in her sleep and “I have been known to moan and make noises in my sleep.”
The jury heard she told gardai: “I don’t know if I was moaning or not, I think I might have wanted him to go quicker so that it was over soon.” Counsel put it to her this suggests “you were fully awake.”
“I was in and out of consciousness,” she said. Counsel asked her then why she didn't say no, to which she replied: “I was extremely drunk,” adding “I don’t believe I was sober enough to be able to give consent prior to being had sex with.”
Mr White put it to her that her statements to gardaí that she doesn't remember “when it stopped” and “I don't think he was wearing a condom” were inconsistent with her evidence that she was too drunk to know what was happening.
The woman agreed that she could have phrased this part of her statement differently.
In other evidence a garda witness denied having “a cavalier approach” to the manner in which he treated one of the defendants when he went to his home to question him. He said that later on he seized the man's passport but denied that this was “part of rubber stamping of his detention.”
Another garda witness told the jury that when he met the two women the next day they were both visibly upset. He said they were taken in separate garda vehicles to where they thought they were the night before. During a search of the apartment gardaí found a used condom with liquid in it and this was preserved in an evidence vial.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Alex Owens and a jury.
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