Jury to deliberate in trial of Limerick man accused of raping girlfriend

Conor Gallagher

Reporter:

Conor Gallagher

Patrick Healy was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment
A JURY is due to begin its deliberations later today in the trial of a Limerick city man who is accused of torturing, raping and imprisoning his girlfriend over a seven day period.

A JURY is due to begin its deliberations later today in the trial of a Limerick city man who is accused of torturing, raping and imprisoning his girlfriend over a seven day period.

During a nine day trial, which began last month, the Central Criminal Court heard the accused man dragged the mother of his child into a car as he suspected she was seeing another man.

In her evidence, the alleged victim said she was beaten and taken to a house where she was kept against her will.

Over the course of six days she said she was raped “countless times” including with a bottle of beer.

She alleged on one occasion the 38-year-old defendant held her head under water in a basin until she started to drown and that he scalded her genitals with hot water.

The woman told the jury that on the sixth day she was brought to another house where the accused went into a jealous rage and beat her with a shovel until it broke.

The defence admit that the accused man beat the woman once but say that the other allegations are false.

They have submitted the sex was consensual and that woman had many opportunities to leave the house if she wanted to.

Lawyers representing the defendant have also pointed to evidence that the woman was happy with the man, such as her giving him a love bite during the alleged ordeal.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment and four counts of assault causing harm at various locations on dates in May 2013.

He has pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm and the jury has been ordered to return not guilty verdicts on two charges of sexual assault due to a lack of evidence.

At the start of the trial the woman told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that she was getting into a taxi when the accused man pulled up in a car and blocked her in.

She said he suspected she was going to see another man and pulled her out of the car by her hair before putting her in his friend’s car.

She said the accused found the other man’s number in her phone and “went mental”.

She told the jury he beat her before taking her into his own car and stripping her to her underwear.

She alleged he put her in the boot of the car before taking her into a house where the beating continued

She said he had sex with her on a couch in front of his friend and told his friend to have sex with her too. The friend refused, saying she was the accused’s partner.

She said over the next six days she was locked in the bedroom and raped repeatedly by the man.

“He continuously raped, tortured and beat me,” she told the jury of six men and six women.

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