After five-and-a-half hours of jury deliberations, a celebrity accused of child defilement of a 16-year-old girl has been acquitted on three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child under 17 years at locations in Dublin on dates between August 2010 and December 2010.
The woman told the court she had met the man at Oxegen music festival before he gave her his phone for her to enter her number.
She said they got to know each other by text message and at first she told him she was 18 before she admitted she “came clean” to surprise him by revealing that she was only 16.
She said the man told her he was 27 and that she was too young, but the following day he texted her asking if she could keep a secret. The woman said she met the man at his workplace where they had oral sex in a stairwell.
She outlined similar activities happened at his home. The woman said all sexual contact was consensual and that a casual sexual relationship was maintained after she’d turned 17.
The defendant said the girl did not reveal her true age until after she had turned 17. He said no sexual activity took place until she was over 18 and was puzzled by the allegations made against him.
Prosecuting counsel Eilis Brennan told the jury that the man gave an account which was “unbelievable and riddled with inconsistencies“.
She said the only plausible and coherent version of events was given by the complainant who she described as an “honest, credible and compelling witness“.
She further told the jury that the prosecution’s case was to undermine the credibility of the complainant. She added that the the complainant had key details about the defendant’s life, yet on his account he had only met her a handful of times in the timeframe referred to.
The Barrister further added that the defendant was faced with a compelling account from the complainant and had “crafted a narrative” to explain it away. She said in doing so he had “made a few mistakes and a few blunders“.
The defence had urged the jury to acquit on all charges and said the defendant had given a more plausible account of events and had backed it up with records.
He had willingly given pin numbers to gardaí who seized nine phones from his home during a search. Defence Counsel Morgan Shelley said the jury was making the most important decision about a man “whose life hangs in the balance“.
He told the jury his client would never work again if convicted. Mr Shelley also said the complainant in the case had “laid fantasy over reality” and that telling a friend about it did not make the story true.