Donegal Rape Trial:House owner denies not taking claims seriously

The owner of a Donegal house, which was the scene of an alleged rape and sexual assault, has denied that she didn't take the accusations seriously.

The house owner, who did not live in County Donegal, told a jury on day-three of the trial that she received an email from the alleged victim’s father, who was overseas, asking for help and saying his daughter had been attacked in the house.

The 38-year-old accused man, who lived in the same house but had been away for some time,  has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to orally raping and sexually assaulting the woman on October 30, 2010.

The house owner told prosecuting counsel Mr Bernard Condon SC, that when she received the email she phoned the house caretaker, asking her to call to the rented property to check out the allegations.

She said she also rang the complainant and got the impression she could not talk freely. She said in a quiet tone 'I need help'.

Under cross-examination, the house owner told defence counsel, Desmond Murphy SC, she had met the accused about five times and “never received any complaints about him.”

She said the accused lived in the property since 2009 and she never had any difficulties with him as a tenant.

She denied that she did not take the allegations seriously after it was put to her that she did not instantly phone the gardai.

She said she rang the gardai after the caretaker got to the house, and was very perturbed by what she was told had happened.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men.