30-year-old on trial for raping woman

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A 30-year-old man has appeared in court accused of raping a woman while her boyfriend slept downstairs.

Sean O’Halloran, with an address of Northland Road, is charged with raping the woman in the early hours of May 11, 2014.

He is further charged with two counts of sexual assault. O’Halloran denies all the charges.

Opening the trial to a Derry Crown Court jury of seven men and five women, prosecution QC Frank O’Donoghue said the complainant and a number of friends and acquaintances had gone back to her house after a night out in local pubs.

The jury were told they will hear evidence that the woman had gone to bed at around 6am leaving her boyfriend and two other friends in the living room. She believed that everyone else had gone home.

The prosecutor said it was the crown case that the woman was asleep when someone got into her bed and put their arms around her. She thought it was her boyfriend.

It is alleged the person took off her trousers and underwear and turned her around.

At this stage, it is alleged the woman realised it was not her boyfriend but O’Halloran.

The jury was told they will hear evidence that O’Halloran was naked and that he ripped the woman’s top before raping her.

The woman allegedly ran downstairs and told her boyfriend and friends what had happened and police were called a short time later.

The jury was told that during police interview the 30-year-old denied the offences and claimed that any touching was consensual.

The trial, which is expected to last five days, is at hearing.