Woman tells court she was told to ‘give head’ to three men in Christmas party trial

The Limerick Circuit Court.

A YOUNG woman broke down as she told a court that three young men exposed their penises to her on the grounds of a rugby club in Limerick following a Christmas party, telling her that she was going to perform oral sex on them.

The woman was 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident and the three males were all aged between 17 and 18.

No parties in the case can be named for legal reasons regarding reporting restrictions, with the accused as such being referred to as Mr A, Mr B, and Mr C.

The three accused first went on trial before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court last Tuesday, each accused of one count of sexually assaulting the woman on December 22, 2017. All three denied the charges.

On Wednesday, Mr A and Mr B pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of intentionally engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature – contrary to Section 45 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 – and they were remanded on continuing bail for sentencing on March 8.

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The State said it was also not pursuing a sexual assault charge against Mr C, who has pleaded not guilty to engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature.

In her direct evidence at Mr C’s trial on Thursday, the alleged victim said that earlier on the night in question she consumed “two or three” alcoholic drinks at a friend’s house before they all went on to attend a Christmas party held at a rugby club, where she said she had a few more alcoholic drinks.

The woman said that during the party, and at the bar, Mr B told her to “look at this”, referring to Mr C, who the woman said “had his penis in his hand and was waving it around the place”.

The woman told the court she was “in shock” and she walked away.

‘They said I was going to give them all head’

The woman said that later on, as the party was ending, she had gotten separated from her friends and that Mr A led her out of the club by her hand, with Mr B and Mr C walking ahead of them.

She said the men told her that her friends might be outside but that, as she continued walking with the men around to the rear of the clubhouse where it was darker, she started to feel “panicked”.

She said she tried to free her herself from Mr A’s hand but in doing so she fell over on loose gravel. She was picked up by Mr C and they carried on walking around to the rear of the clubhouse, she told the court.

The woman said she was “feeling tipsy” and was “borderline drunk”. She said that by that stage she “had been drinking consistently throughout the night”.

She said she was placed up against a wall at the rear of the clubhouse and that Mr C and Mr B “exposed their penises”.

“They said I was going to give them all head and they would see who I gave the best head to,” she told the court.

The woman said she told the men “no”, telling them that they had girlfriends.

She said she “kept objecting”, after which Mr B and Mr C left. She said Mr A started to kiss her and began feeling her crotch area outside of her pants.

She said she felt panicked again and asked Mr A what he was doing, to which he told her not to worry.

She said Mr B and Mr C returned and all three exposed their penises. She said Mr B again told her that she was going to give them all “head”, to which she again replied “no”.

The three men ‘ran away’

The woman said Mr B then “stuck his fingers inside my vagina” as Mr A “started to feel outside my pants” and while this was happening, Mr C was standing a few feet away “touching his penis”.

The woman said she heard a friend calling her name and she screamed for “help”, at which point the three males “ran away”.

She told the court she became “hysterical” and told her friends that she did not want to do anything about it.

She said that two weeks later, on January 10, 2018, she told her school chaplain about the alleged incident and the school contacted Gardaí.

During her direct evidence, the woman wept several times in court and asked for a glass of water as she became emotional.

‘He had his penis in his hand’

Under cross examination by Mr C’s barrister, the woman agreed she had “definitely felt the effects of alcohol” prior to attending the party.

The woman agreed that at no time while she was allegedly being led by the hand by Mr A outside of the club had she indicated to anyone that she was in any kind of distress.

The woman also agreed that when Mr A allegedly started kissing her, she had not pushed him away, but she felt “restricted in my movement”.

The woman also agreed that while it was possible Mr C could have been urinating at the time of his alleged exposure, she did not hear any sound of urine “splashing” on the ground, telling the court “he had his penis in his hand.”

The woman also agreed that she had lied when she had shouted at another student outside the clubhouse afterwards on the night that their friend “tried to f*cking rape me”.

“I’m sorry I overreacted … It was a lie in a moment of rage,” the woman told the court.

When Mr C’s barrister put it to the woman that she had told another lie on the night when she told a security guard that she had been assaulted by three males, she replied: “That was my perception at the time, it is the reality that not all three assaulted me.”

When it was put to her that no one on the night had contacted the Gardaí, the woman replied: “I just wanted to go home.”

The trial continues.