Two guilty of taking part in gang rape

Thu, Nov 8, 2012, 00:00

Two Cork men have been found guilty of taking part in a gang rape three years ago.

The men were aged 16 and 18 when they picked up a woman who was drunk and separated from her friends, drove her down a country lane and tried to have sex with her on a mattress in the back of their van.

The older man was described as saying “hurry on, give me a lash” at one stage during the attack. A third man, who was aged 15 at the time, was found not guilty of all charges.

The guilty men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced in January.

There were chaotic scenes when the verdicts were announced as the accuseds’ family members shouted that their sons were innocent and that the acquitted man “was the one that did everything”.

Mr Justice Paul Carney had two of those who disrupted the court remanded in custody until this morning.

The three men, now 19, 19 and 21, had all pleaded not guilty to four charges each of vaginal rape, attempted rape, oral rape and sexual assault of a woman in September 2009.

The charges of vaginal rape were dropped during the trial. The oldest accused was found guilty of sexual assault and attempted rape but not guilty of oral rape.

The other man sobbed as the jury found him guilty of sex assault, oral rape and attempted rape. Before the trial he entered a plea of guilty to stealing the woman’s car from outside her home.

The victim, now aged 34, was drunk after a night out and said she did not remember how she ended up in the back of the van.

The men said they offered her a lift and then drove down a nearby “country lane” where they took turns getting into the back of the van with her and asking for sex.

She could not identify her attackers except to say they had “Traveller accents”.

After a nine-day trial the jury took just under three hours to return unanimous verdicts. Mr Justice Carney ordered that the two men be declared sex offenders and remanded them in custody until a sentencing date in January.