Homeless woman allegedly raped at hotel told 'shut up and let it happen'

The incident is alleged to have occurred at George Frederic Handel Hotel in Dublin
The incident is alleged to have occurred at George Frederic Handel Hotel in Dublin

A homeless woman who was allegedly raped by two men in a hotel room has told a trial that one man told her to shut up and “let it happen” while he stood watching the rape.

The two Dublin men, aged 27 and 40 years, have pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman in a room at the George Frederic Handel Hotel, Fishamble Street on March 26, 2012.

On day two of the trial the alleged victim described how one of the men physically raped her while the other looked on. She said that after the alleged rape the second man threatened to throw her out of a window if she went to gardai.

Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, previously told the jury that this second accused was “as much a perpetrator as if he had physically penetrated her himself”.

The woman said she was 22 years old at the time when she and a female friend were both living in different hostels in the city centre.

She said on the Monday morning, she received her Jobseeker’s Allowance and she and her friend went drinking in a nearby park. 

She said they shared a litre bottle of rum and later they shared 15 bottles of beer which she had bought from a convenience shop.

At this point some men her friend knew joined them drinking in the park. The woman said she drank about six bottles of beer.

Her and her friend then went to a city centre pub and she met the two accused men. She didn’t know them but her friend knew the man alleged to have later physically raped her.

She said both men had "Traveller accents”. She said this first man came up to her while she was dancing. She said he was “coming on to me” but she wasn’t interested. 

She said there was a bit of an argument when this man asked if she wasn’t interested because he was a Traveller.

She told the court she had no problem with Travellers but she just wasn’t interested in him. She said she kissed the man then and it was a “french kiss”.

She was later dancing with her friend and asked her to tell this man to stay away from her.

She told the court that she bought a number of drinks and she also took a line of cocaine in the toilet. The two women left around midnight and walked to their hostels.

The man was ringing her friend’s mobile and asked the women to help them get a hotel room for the night as they were concerned they would be refused because they are Travellers, the court heard.

The women went with them to two hotels where they were told there were no rooms. The complainant said while standing outside one hotel she kissed the first accused.

The group then went to the George Frederic Handel Hotel, where they asked for and received a room for three people. 

She told the men that she would just come up to the room for a couple of minutes and had no intention of staying for the night. She said she would tell the receptionist she was going out for cigarettes.

She went up into the room and opened the door with a swipe card. She said the first man locked the other man out of the room.

The second man was kicking at the door and she warned the first man that they would get themselves thrown out, she testified.

She said she was there for five minutes and there was “general chit chat” before she went to walk out.

The first man pushed her onto the bed and pulled off her dress and underwear and held her down with his chest and her hair down with one hand, she testified.

"I was panicking. I asked him to stop, get off me, what are you doing? He raped me,” she said.

She said the second man was at the window and was watching and she started pleading with him. 

“I asked him to please tell him to stop. I was pleading with him. He told me to shut up. He was saying, 'is she any use?’. He said let it happen, it’s gonna happen”.

She agreed that he was telling her to let the rape happen. She said she didn’t do anything to fight the man off.

The trial continues before Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of eight men and four women. 

By Declan Brennan