Man appeals conviction for rape of sister
A Dublin man has appealed against his conviction for raping and abusing his younger sister over a number of years when she was a child.
The man (37), who can't be named to protect the victim's identity, went on trial at the Central Criminal Court in 2016.
He pleaded not guilty to 48 counts including rape, oral rape, rape with a screwdriver, rape with a vibrator and sexual assault at two Dublin locations between 2000 and 2005. However, a jury found him guilty.
The woman said she'd thought she had the perfect life before the abuse and how, at age ten, it had been ‘filled with a black hole of uncertainty, fear and terror’, when her brother started sexually abusing her.
She said that her family had changed forever and that her parents were ‘shadows’ of themselves since the court proceedings.
She said that her father had told her: “I thought I had to protect you from the monsters in the street, not the monster in my home.”
Justice Isobel Kennedy heard that the man had no previous convictions, and jailed him for 11 years.
He appealed against his conviction to the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
His barrister, Mícheál P O'Higgins SC, submitted that the trial judge had erred in failing to give a warning to the jury on the dangers of convicting on uncorroborated evidence.
“In my submission, the overall context was that my client was saying that these events did not happen, the allegations are made up. That was the overall dispute to be resolved by the jury,” he said.
John O’Kelly SC responded on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
He said that the man’s parents had given evidence that they had confronted their son in 2012 about what he had done, and that he had made admissions, saying they were ‘only playing’ and ‘were children’.
His mother had said that his sister was a child at the time but that he was not a child.
Mr O’Kelly said that the man had then continued making the admissions, telling his father that it was ‘on me’.
“I’m submitting that there’s independent evidence from two sources, both of whom were there on the day,” said counsel. “The judge was right to decide it was an inappropriate case to give a corroboration warning.”
Justice John Edwards, presiding with Justice Patrick McCarthy and Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh, reserved judgment in the case and will give a decision at a later date.