A rapist who treated his victim “like a slave” and claimed he did not receive a fair trial after the applicant branded him from the witness stand as a murderer and a member of the Russian mafia has failed to have his conviction overturned.
The man, a 71-year-old Polish national, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape contrary to common law and four counts of rape contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 against a woman who when his cleaning lady worked.
He was found guilty after a trial and jailed by Ms Justice Tara Burns, who found he had treated the victim like a “slave” and “a sex object” between September 2012 and January 2016.
During the trial, the court was told that the victim became pregnant after she was raped by the man who had been introduced to her as a “good guy” who was able to help her with some financial difficulties.
The woman, a non-Irish woman, said the defendant destroyed her life and that he “just told me how to kneel, obey and be quiet”.
The defendant has a rape conviction in Poland and is serving a three-year sentence for making death threats following an Irish conviction.
At the sentencing hearing, Ms Justice Burns described the woman’s account of the victim as “terrifying”.
She said the offenses are “of the most serious nature, moving towards the almost unbelievable”.
Ms Justice Burns described it as “terrible” that in modern times man had “possessed, controlled and wrongly imprisoned woman for his own sexual gratification”. “He used her as a sex object,” the judge said.
He appealed the conviction on the grounds that the jury at his trial before the Central Criminal Court in July 2019 should have been dismissed after the applicant cross-examined allegations that the accused had ties to the Russian mafia and had one in that country man murdered.
The allegations had been made “without prior notice”, Michael Bowman SC had told the Court of Appeal on behalf of the complainant. “These are matters that are very prejudicial,” he said.
Mr Bowman said the allegations were made when the applicant was asked by the defense whether she knew the accused worked as a “garage worker”.
In response, the complainant said the accused was a “beast” and a “drug dealer” who “murdered a man in Russia and was in the Russian mafia”.
It “doesn’t matter” whether the allegations were “accidental or premeditated,” the attorney said, because then “everything is open” and his client’s right to a fair trial has been “compromised.”
Asked by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy whether the jury should have been dismissed at that point, Mr Bowman replied that while juries are “robust instruments, a point must be reached where a tipping point has been passed” and “for a Relief speaks”.
Patrick McGrath SC, for the Chief Prosecutor, told the court that if “the complaint was well founded, the defendant suffered an unfair trial” as a result of the allegations made by the complainant “a decision should be made at the time it was made.” to submit a request for discharge”.
The judge, he said, “told the jury that these matters should be taken out of their mind and not relevant to the decision they should make in the case.”
“The defense is now attempting to reconstruct the manner in which the case was conducted,” Mr. McGrath continued.
Judge Isobel Kennedy told the Court of Appeals today that the “real question for the trial judge because of the adverse evidence is whether that evidence of bad character had a disproportionate effect on the jury.”
Ms Justice Kennedy said it is “fundamental” to any criminal trial that prosecutors do not present evidence of bad character “except in exceptional cases”.
“However, situations can arise where direct or cross-examination may inadvertently reveal evidence of ill-repute. The question then becomes whether such evidence is seriously prejudicial,” the judge said.
“In the exercise of that discretion, the judge must consider the nature of the evidence, the manner in which the evidence was obtained and any other relevant circumstances in determining the extent of damage caused.”
Ms Justice Kennedy noted that the evidence arose during cross-examination, which she said was “dangerous” for any attorney under the circumstances.
Mr. Justice Kennedy said a defense request for jury exoneration came only after the prosecution’s evidence was complete.
Mr Justice Kennedy said: “A party cannot simply wait and see how the evidence develops before making such a request. When a defendant has suffered such insurmountable prejudice as to justify the nuclear option of a jury dismissal, one might expect the motion to move so quickly.”
Ms Justice Kennedy said the trial judge made no mistake in exercising her discretion not to exonerate the jury and said the indictment to the jury was “we say without hesitation, clear and unambiguous”. she addressed the impugned evidence,” said Judge Kennedy.
In dismissing the appeal, Ms. Justice Kennedy said the judge “addressed the jury in the strongest terms to ignore the prejudicial material and consider only the prosecution’s evidence.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/rapist-who-treated-victim-like-a-slave-fails-in-appeal-over-claim-from-witness-box-he-murdered-man-42234267.html Rapist who treated victim ‘like a slave’ is failing appeal over witness stand claim he murdered man