Member Login

Conviction for multiple sexual offences was safe given overwhelming evidence of guilt

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

or click here to request site subscription to search and view all judgments

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal against conviction for multiple sexual offences, including rape, on the grounds that: (a) there was no basis for a complaint that the gardai did not carry out a forensic examination on the complainant's sitting room or in the home of a friend that she had met earlier in the day; (b) there was no rational basis for the proposition that the prejudicial effect of the doctor's evidence exceeded the probative value; and (c) the Court must be conscious of the overwhelming evidence of guilt, including the fact that there was an eye witness to the assault who's bona fides was not challenged, when approaching the appeal.

McCarthy J (nem diss): Appeal against conviction - criminal law - appellant was found guilty of 3 sexual offences, including rape, and one count of making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to the complainant - whether the trial judge erred in law and in fact by admitting the evidence of a doctor regarding his observations and conclusions relating to the purported presence of foreign debris in the perianal area of the complainant during his examination of her at the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit - the appellant had met the complainant while she was travelling to meet a friend - the complainant engaged in sexual activity with her friend while in Dublin and washed afterwards - the appellant was on the same bus home as the complainant - the appellant followed the complainant home and raped her in her home - the complainant's roommate heard noise and witnessed the attack - the doctor gave evidence there was “foreign debris” in the natal fold, which is the area of skin between the vagina and the anus, which was consistent with carpet - the appellant challenged the admissibility of this evidence - no swab was taken of this debris - whether the doctor should have been permitted to give this evidence - appeal dismissed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *