Woman says knife used in rape attack by former partner


A Dublin man went on trial at the Central Criminal Court yesterday charged with raping his former girlfriend last year. The 37year-old alleged victim claimed the defendant put a bread knife to her throat to force her to have sex with him.

Earlier that morning, he met her as she was going to work and made her get into his car. Instead of driving her to work, he drove to Drogheda before returning to his home and raping her, she said.

The court also heard that in the early hours of the morning before this meeting, the accused man had broken into the house where the alleged victim was staying with her sister. The defendant, a 42-year-old separated father of five, pleaded not guilty to rape of the woman at his home on August 18th, 1997. He also pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting her involving a threat of serious violence, sexual assault and assault. He further denied charges of assaulting the alleged victim's sister and entering her house with intent to do damage.

The alleged rape victim told Mr Feargal Kavanagh BL (with Mr Ralph Sutton SC), prosecuting, that she met the accused in June 1992. He moved into her house a few months later. She said she ended their relationship in 1996, having spent two years trying to do so. On August 17th, 1997 she agreed to go to a pub with him. She left around midnight and went to her sister's house. Later she heard her sister screaming at her from upstairs to "get the police". After a struggle, her sister alerted gardai and the accused left.

On her way to work the next morning, the accused pulled up beside her in his car. He told her to get in or he would create a scene, she said.

The woman said that he claimed he would drive her to her work but instead he drove to Drogheda. He asked her for sex. Later he drove back to Dublin where they went to two pubs. He then drove to his home and again requested sex.

He threatened her by putting a bread knife to her throat and forced her to have sex with him, she said.

The trial, before Mr Justice Quirke and a jury, continues.