Homeless woman tells court one man laughed as she was allegedly raped by the other
A homeless woman has told a trial that one man laughed and smirked while his friend raped her in a Dublin hotel.
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 in the early hours of March 27, 2012.
On day two of the trial the alleged victim described how just 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 gardaí.
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 alleged victim told the trial that 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 that on the morning before the alleged rape she received her Jobseeker’s Allowance and she bought a litre bottle of rum. She and her friend drank this and some beers in a city park.
They went later to a pub where she met the two accused, who she said she didn’t know. The first man was coming on to her but she told him she wasn’t interested.
She later kissed him in the pub. The two women left alone around midnight but they met the two accused again because the men asked for help getting a hotel room for the night.
The men were afraid they would be refused a room because they were travellers, she said. The witness said she met them and went into two hotels but were told there were no rooms available.
They then went to Handel’s hotel where they were given a room. The woman said she went up to the room with the two accused but never intended to stay.
She said that after five minutes of “chit chat” she went to leave but the first man pushed her back on a bed. He 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. The woman cried during some of her testimony.
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 added: “He seemed to find it funny, smirking, laughing, asked was I any use”.
She said this man later told her he knew where she lived and threatened to throw her out of a window if she went to gardai.
The court heard the first man later told gardaí that the woman had consented to having sex with him. She told the court this wasn’t true and said she asked him to stop.
Under cross examination from Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending the first accused, she admitted that she used to be a poly-drug user and that she may also have smoked cannabis on the day before the alleged rape.
Counsel told the court that a report from a medical centre stated the woman had a history of drinking heavily and of misusing methadone and methamphetamine.
She denied that she had ever “touched methadone or heroin”. She agreed that she previously had an addiction to benzodiazepam.
The woman accepted that CCTV footage showed her hugging the accused and him hugging her while they were looking for the hotel room.
She agreed that she was seeing someone else at the time and that her previous relationship with the father of her daughter had broken up.
The alleged victim told the court that after finishing the rum she bought 20 bottles of beer and shared these. She drank six bottles herself. The two women then went to a pub and met the two accused.
The woman said she didn’t know the men but her friend did. She said they both had traveller accents and the first man was “coming on” to her.
She said she wasn’t interested in him and 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 told the court that she bought a number of drinks in the pub and she also consumed two lines of cocaine that day. She testified that the first accused also snorted some cocaine and offered her some.
The two women left around midnight and walked towards their hostels. The first 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. She said the first man then attacked and raped her.
She said when he grabbed her hair she was terrified and “wet herself” as result of her nervousness and fear.
After the rape ended, she said, she dressed herself on the floor of the hotel room and stood up. The second man grabbed her upper arms and pushed her back towards the window, she said.
“He said he’d throw me out of the window, not to speak to the guards about it. He said if I was to speak about it, they know where I live,” she testified.
She said the first man, who was now in the bathroom, told the second man to “get her out”. She left and got into the lift. She told the receptionist, who asked if she was ok, that the men were “scumbags”.
She said she felt sick and physically sore. She said she left the hotel and began dry retching. Mr Kavanagh put it to her that was more likely to have been caused by the drugs she had consumed that day.
She said she went back to her hostel where a member of staff noticed she was upset and asked her what was wrong. She told her she had been raped and the staff member rang gardaí.
She testified that she wasn’t happy about that because of the threat from the second man. “I was terrified, I was afraid, because of the threat,” she said.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of eight men and four women.