By Declan Brennan, February 22 2022
A jury has acquitted a former garda of raping his wife at their family home nearly four years ago.
The 60-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to raping his wife in her bedroom at their family home in Leinster on a date in July 2018. Neither the defendant nor the complainant can be identified in accordance with the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981.
After a five-day trial at the Central Criminal Court, a jury of eight men and four women took a little over two hours to return a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
Justice Karen O’Connor thanked the jurors for their service and told the defendant he was free to go. He had been remanded on bail throughout the trial.
During the trial, Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, told the jury that the couple had married in 2007, but that the marriage was acrimonious and by 2018 it was irretrievably broken down and the woman was seeking a divorce.
The woman told the court that she was subjected to emotional and psychological abuse while the defendant, in his evidence, denied this and testified that he was the subject of the abuse from his wife.
The woman told the trial that the couple had stopped sharing a bed but that they still had some sexual interactions, the last prior to the alleged rape being the previous April. She said that her husband was the one who was always “in the driving seat”.
She said that on the morning of the alleged rape she was lying on her bed and the accused walked into the room. She said he was naked from the waist down and was rubbing his penis and told her that “he was fiercely or furiously horny and that he wanted to f*** me”.
She said she told him to f*** off. She said he then lay on the bed and put his arm around her from behind, put her on her back and raped her.
“I kept asking him to get off”, she said, adding that she also told him that their children were in the house. After his arrest the defendant told gardai that the rape allegation was a complete fabrication.
The woman told the jury that a week after the alleged rape she confronted her husband about it and he told her that “something is coming”. The defendant testified that this conversation never took place.
The court heard that some weeks later after this alleged conversation, two gardaí came to the house and served the woman with a District Court summons for a safety order.
Under cross-examination from Mr Gageby, the defendant denied that he took out the safety order against his wife so that he could argue that her later allegation of rape was in response to the court order.
He said that in the days before he got the order his wife had smacked him in the mouth with a mobile phone, breaking a back tooth. He told the jury he got the order out to protect himself and that he was in fear of his wife, who he described as argumentative and combustible.
“You weren’t in great fear of her making a rape complaint were you?” Mr Gageby asked. The defendant replied “I thought she was going to make some kind of a complaint, yes”.