Dobbins trial: Court hears claims alleged victim was 'completely infatuated' with accused

A witness has told the trial of the principal of a Special Needs School accused of rape and sexual assault charges that the alleged victim was 'completely infatuated' with the accused.

Michael Dobbins.
Michael Dobbins.

Michael Dobbins (54) of Greenhaw Road in Derry is charged with six counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual activity with a female who by reason of a mental disorder could not consent.

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred on dates between January 1, 2013 and February 23, 2015.

Hide Ad

On Tuesday, the trial heard from what the prosecution described as 'a tranche of witnesses' who were involved in projects associated with the school.

One woman who worked at the school told the court that the alleged injured party would ask for Dobbins.

She told the court that the woman was 'not too pleased' if told he wasn't about.

This witness claimed that the woman was infatuated with Dobbins and 'other members of staff' including herself.

Hide Ad

She said that staff had to talk to the woman about 'personal space boundaries' and described her as 'touchy, freely.'

The witness said that the alleged victim had been 'spoken to' about trying to go into Dobbins' office and while '90% of the time she was really lovely and quite gentle' on this occasion she became 'quite angry and raised her voice.'

Hide Ad

Another witness who worked in a local project which was attended by the woman at the centre of the allegations said that the alleged victim was 'obsessed' with Dobbins. So much so, the court heard, that protocols had to be put in place to control her behaviour.

The witness was asked by Eoghan Devlin representing Dobbins how the woman would react when she saw Dobbins. The witness said she would 'run over and grab him tight around the arm or shoulder'.

Hide Ad

The witness was also asked how Dobbins would react and she said he would 'pat her on the arm'.

The court also heard that the woman had a screensaver on her phone that was a picture of Michael Dobbins.

Hide Ad

The trial continues.