Rapist who pretended he was gay to lure woman to his apartment loses appeal

Samir Mansour
Samir Mansour

A chef jailed for raping a woman after inviting her back to his apartment by claiming he was gay has lost an appeal against conviction.

Tunisian national Samir Mansour (49), with an address at The Lock, Market Point, Mullingar had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the rape of a woman at his apartment with a different address in Mullingar on January 8 2010.

He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Mr Justice Barry White on July 14 2014.

It had been Mansour's fourth trial on the matter having quashed on appeal in 2013 a conviction on four counts – rape, oral rape, false imprisonment and making a threat to kill or cause serious harm. His first retrial collapsed due to juror difficulty and he was acquitted on all counts except rape in a third trial in 2013.

As a result, he was tried and convicted on the count of rape in his fourth trial last year.

Counsel for Mansour, Bernard Condon SC, said the fourth trial had run on an agreement with prosecution counsel that the complainant would not give evidence on matters upon which Mansour had been acquitted.

During her evidence in the fourth trial, the complainant said Mansour put his finger in front of her eye and said he would 'poke it out if I moved' – in reference, Mr Condon said, to the count of making threats to kill or cause serious harm of which Mansour had been acquitted.

Mr Condon said the jury ought to have been discharged and the trial judge erred in allowing those matters go before the jury.

Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal today, Mr Justice George Birmingham said prosecuting counsel agreed to advise the complainant not to give evidence on the alleged threat to kill or the alleged oral rape – but that was the limit of it.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the Court of Appeal had to focus on whether there was an unfairness or prejudice in the trial and the answer to that question was “very clearly no”.

He said the jury had to determine whether the sexual activity was consensual or whether the prosecution had proved it to be non-consensual.

Isolated in that fashion, it was clear, he said, that the alleged threat to poke the complainant's eye out formed a very important part of the act of rape.

Mr Justice Birmingham said it was “entirely understandable” that the complainant referred to what she had referred to. It would not be easy for a witness sworn to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth to do otherwise.

It was not a case of a witness referring to matters unrelated of a prejudicial nature, Mr Justice Birmingham said. She was recalling a detail of an experience to which she said she had been subjected,

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court agreed that the application to discharge the jury had been one “without substance” and the judge was well within his right to decline in acceeding to the application.

Accordingly, the court dismissed Mansour's appeal.