Complainant claims ‘I did not give consent’

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A local woman who alleges she was raped while on holiday in Spain broke down as she told a jury this week that it was ‘not as easy you think’ to tell people.

The woman was giving evidence in the case of Michael Cregan, of Ferguson Street, who denies raping the then 17-year-old in Torremolinos in August 2014.

The case is the first of its kind in the North in which a U.K. citizen has gone on trial for an offence which was allegedly committed outside of the U.K.

The complainant told the jury of seven men and five women she had one drink on the day in question and then essentially blacked out. She said she had very little memory of the rest of that day, but claimed she remembers waking up with Cregan on top of her.

The complainant said she was awake for around 30 seconds and then went back to sleep.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Ciaran Mallon QC, the complainant denied she had consensual sex with Cregan. She also denied suggestions that the rape allegation was a ‘story’ she had ‘invented’.

The barrister asked the complainant why she had not told anyone else on the holiday that she had been raped. At this point the woman broke down and said, ‘It’s not as easy as that. It’s not as easy as you think.’

The complainant said she had attempted to tell her sister, but she did not believe her and ‘brushed it off’. She accepted that she had uploaded photos of the holiday, including shots of the defendant, on social media and had been at the social events as him on a number of occasions before she reported the matter to police.

She told the jury that she was ‘trying to act normally’.

She denied suggestions by Mr Mallon that she had ‘buyers’ regret’ after having consensual sex with Cregan because she was worried he would say something when he got home from holiday. The complainant told the jury ‘No because I didn’t want to have sex with him,’ adding: ‘I know the truth and I’m sure he does as well’.

She said that she did not recall kissing Cregan in the hotel room or engaging in other sexual activity with him and when asked if it could have happened she told the jury ,‘I’m not sure’.
She accepted she did not tell Cregan to ‘get off’ or ‘stop’ when she found him on top of her. The complainant told the jury: ‘If I practically couldn’t walk I am sure I couldn’t talk because we learn to talk before we walk’.

When it was put to her that she had consensual sex with Cregan a second time on the balcony of the hotel room, the complainant said ‘Not from memory, no. This is the first I have heard of this. No I can’t recall this’.
She denied making up the allegations because she was ashamed of what she had done, telling the jury, “No because I had done nothing wrong. I did not give consent and would not have given consent if I was in the right state.”

The complainant denied the barrister’s suggestion that ‘under no circumstance were you the victim of non-consensual sexual intercourse’ with Cregan, while she said to the jury ‘I know the truth’.