DPP v Farrell

JudgeMr. Justice Barr
Judgment Date01 December 1995
Neutral Citation1998 WJSC-CCC 5494
CourtCentral Criminal Court (Ireland)
Date01 December 1995

1998 WJSC-CCC 5494



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Judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Barr on the 1st day of December, 1995


The accused has pleaded guilty to raping a young woman of 23 years of age twice on 3rd April, 1994 at two separate rural locations in north county Dublin. I do not propose to recite in full the events of what was an appalling night of horror for the accused's victim. It is sufficient to state that on the evening of 2nd April by arrangement she met her boyfriend and the accused, who was a friend of the latter, at a public house in Laytown, County Meath. In course of the night her boyfriend left the group in a fit of pique. The young woman and the accused searched for him. He was found but was not prepared to rejoin the other two. The young woman resides with her parents on the family farm in a secluded area. She asked the accused to drive her home. At this time it was about 1.00 a.m. He did so but failed to stop at her house and instead drove on and eventually turned off a boreen into a ploughed field. By then the victim realised that she might be in danger or sexual assault or worse. She got out of the car and ran away but the accused caught up with her and she was physically restrained by him. He grabbed her by the throat and put his hand across her mouth to prevent her from screaming. She could not tell him that she was unable to breath. He dragged her back into the car and the first rape then took place. Afterwards the accused tried to drive the car out of the field but it was stuck in the mud and he was unable to move it. He forced the young woman to remain with him as they trudged through fields until he found a hay barn in an isolated place. He compelled the victim to mount a ladder into the barn where he raped her again. By this time the victim was even more terrified as she had learned from the accused that he had a prison record and she realised from what he said about it that he feared another prison sentence for raping her. On that account she feared for her life. When the accused made a hole in the hay she thought that he intended to kill her and conceal her body in the hay. She prayed for deliverance as he raped her in the barn. Around midday the accused finally released his victim after she had said to him many times that she would not complain about what he had done to her. She made her way to the house of a farmer, Desmond Flynn, and he sent for her brothers who brought her home.


The horror of the young woman's experience is amply borne out in the Book of Evidence by Mr. Flynn's account of her state of severe shock and distress when she arrived at his house soon after her release and also by Dr. O'Brien-Counihan in his report on examination of the victim at home later that day. He found that she was still in great distress at that time. The physical injuries ascertained by him on examination of the victim, in particular bruises on her left upper arm and neck; an abrasion of her nose; a tender haematoma over the occipital region of her scalp and a laceration inside her lower lip are consistent with the attack which she described in her statement as having been made on her by the accused when she attempted to run away from the car prior to the first rape. I am satisfied that the account of her ordeal contained in the statement of evidence which she gave to Garda officers when she was well enough to do so is a truthful and accurate...

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