herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Case against sex assault accused is 'one-sided and unfair', court told

Accused Mayvine Gurriah has pleaded not guilty to assault
Accused Mayvine Gurriah has pleaded not guilty to assault

The case against a man accused of sexually assaulting a homeless teenager after taking him in for the night is "totally one-sided" and "grossly unfair", his defence has argued.

Gardai investigating the complaint against Mayvine Gurriah (39) immediately decided they would believe the alleged victim and never put the accused's side of the story to the 18-year-old youth, it was claimed.

The trial also heard that Mr Gurriah denied trying to get the teen to smell from a bottle of "poppers" that he kept by his bed but said he rarely used.

His defence has asked Judge Anthony Halpin to dismiss the charge. The judge adjourned a decision to a date next month.

Mr Gurriah has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager at his apartment at Seven Oaks, Sarsfield Road, Inchicore, on May 26, 2016.

He had met the young man on a city street and offered him a meal and a place to sleep, Dublin District Court heard.

The teenager alleged he woke on the couch to find Mr Gurriah with his hand down his trous-ers, touching his penis.

The alleged victim said he was in a state of shock and fear and asked Mr Gurriah "what the f**k he was at". He said the accused ran outside and locked him in the apartment.

Crazy

Interviewed by gardai for seven hours, Mr Gurriah said he was sitting on the arm of the couch and may have brushed against the sleeping teenager.

He alleged the teen went "crazy", demanding money and threatening to kill him. He was afraid and ran out, locking the apartment.

A caretaker called gardai after Mr Gurriah approached him and he saw the alleged victim on the balcony, saying: "I'm going to jump."

Defence barrister Patrick Reynolds said Mr Gurriah's garda interviews had been "oppressive".

He said there were inconsistencies in the alleged victim's evidence, which meant his version of events could not have happened, including two-and-a-half hours which were unaccounted for.

The teen had described Mr Gurriah wearing no top, but the accused had a top on when gardai arrived. A state solicitor said this could have been down to the teenager's state of shock.

Gda Kevin Lawless accepted it was "possible" that the accused's counter-allegations were never put to the alleged victim.

He said Mr Gurriah did not want to pursue a formal complaint against the teenager.

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