Man has conviction for raping woman three times overturned

Retrial ordered after Court of Appeal finds judge failed to give jury correct warning

A Limerick man sentenced to 12-and-a-half years imprisonment for assaulting and repeatedly raping a woman in her home has had his conviction overturned on appeal.

Alan Hanley (35), of no fixed abode, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of rape at a house in Limerick city on the night of May 4th and 5th, 2012. He had admitted assaulting the woman causing her harm on the same occasion.

After a retrial, a jury returned guilty verdicts on all three rape charges.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy imposed sentences of 12 and a half years for each of the rape offences. She imposed the maximum possible sentence of five years for the assault.


Hanley successfully appealed his conviction on Monday due to the trial judge’s failure to give the jury a corroboration warning.

The three-judge Court of Appeal directed a retrial and he was remanded in custody until June 25th to fix a date.

Counsel for Hanley, Michael Bowman SC, said it was the class of case which required a corroboration warning due to “clear inconsistencies” in the complainant’s evidence, and contrary accounts she had given between both trials.

A corroboration warning was given to the jury in Hanley’s first trial, which ultimately resulted in a disagreement. Mr Bowman said the fact another court had given the warning endorsed the argument that it should have been given in the retrial.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the Court of Appeal had concluded that the trial judge erred in not providing a warning, in the circumstances of this case. He said the court could not be convinced that this did not affect the outcome of the trial.

Hanley has previous convictions for violent crimes, including possession of a knife in 2000 and threats to kill in 2007 and 2008. He was convicted of intimidating a witness in 2008.