Jury to begin deliberations at Donegal rape trial


The jury in the trial of a Donegal teenager accused of raping a schoolmate is due to begin its deliberations today at the Central Criminal Court.

The accused, aged19 has denied one count of rape and another of oral rape of a then 16-year-old girl behind a building in a town in Co Donegal in the early hours of March 18, 2016.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy yesterday concluded her charge to the jury in which she went back over the evidence and cross-examination of witnesses.

The judge told the jurors it was up to them to decide whether or not there were inconsistencies in the complainant's evidence, and of the significance of any inconsistencies or otherwise.

Jurors were also instructed to ask themselves, if they were giving an account of an event that was traumatic in their own lives, whether they would give exactly the same account, or whether there might be differences.

In his earlier closing speech, Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, said injuries to the girl's head and vagina were "not consistent with a willing, voluntary sexual encounter, but injuries consistent with the violent, unwilling, forced sexual encounter described by the complainant".

Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, in his closing speech said that there were significant gaps in the complainant's memory of the night in question.

The trial continues before a jury of seven men and four women.