Man who claims he spent over a year in prison after being wrongly accused of rape sues the State


21 November 2021

A man who claims he spent over a year in prison after being wrongly accused of raping a woman who had previously fabricated a similar claim against another man, has sued various entities of the State.

The woman accused the man at the centre of the action of raping her following a party they, and others, had attended in February 2009.

A large quantity of alcohol was consumed at the party, it is claimed.

The man, an EU national who currently lives in his native county, at all times vehemently denied the rape allegation.

Arising out of her complaint the man was interviewed by gardaí and released without charge.

He was never re-interviewed.

He also claims that the garda who took the only statement given by the complainant formed the opinion that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time she made the statement alleging rape.

He then returned to his home country some time afterwards.

A year later he returned to Ireland to meet with a then employer.

He was arrested and was charged with the offence of rape.

He was remanded in custody, after being refused bail by the District Court on the grounds that he represented a flight risk.

He was granted High Court bail on condition he reside in Ireland, sign on daily with the gardaí and that he provided a €10,000 cash surety. He was unable to meet those terms and remained in custody until June 2011.

A few weeks before he was due to go on trial for the offence he and his solicitor were provided with a file regarding the previous fabricated rape claim made by the woman.

Eighteen months prior to making the complaint against the man, the woman had claimed she was raped by another unrelated individual.

She later withdrew this allegation and admitted that it was fabricated arising out of her frustration due to her history of sexual abuse, family problems and alcohol issues.

Consideration was given to prosecuting the woman for wasting garda time. However she was not charged with an offence due to her personal circumstances.

For the first time since his incarceration the man and his solicitor discovered that the woman had previously admitted fabricating the rape claim against the other male in 2007.

Shortly after the man received the information about the complainant the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered ‘a nolle prosequi’ in the man’s case ending his prosecution and his release from prison.

The man claims he suffered great harm due to the time spent in prison.

His relationship broke down, resulting in a lack of access to his daughter, and he lost his job, he claims.

The man, represented by solicitor Adrian Shanley, has sued the Garda Commissioner, the DPP, Ireland, the Attorney General, and the Governors of Cloverhill and the Midlands Prisons.

In his action he seeks damages for alleged malicious prosecution, breach of his constitutional rights, false imprisonment, negligence, and conscious abuse of statutory powers.

The claims are denied.

The defendants say that what they had done in this instance was carrying out the public functions as part of their public duties.

They also claim that the man has no permissible cause of action against them.

The case, which was initiated in 2012 and has a long procedural history, came before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland, who ruled on a preliminary issue in advance of the action.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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