herald

Friday 23 February 2018

Tinder sex attack accused 'looked like a monster'

University College Dublin
University College Dublin

A woman has told a court that a man she met through Tinder was like a "monster" when he attacked her in his car.

The 36-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the foreign national at UCD campus, Belfield, south Dublin, on July 23, 2014.

The woman, now aged 35, told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that she had come to Ireland to learn English and had arrived only the previous month.

She said she couldn't speak any English and was adding people to her "Tinder website" account to help her do so.

She met the accused on Tinder on June 29 and they began chatting online.

At one point he told her: "I only want to f**k you" and she told him: "That was rude, I'm a good person, I'm not a whore."

Speaking through a translator, the woman said she was upset about the message "because it wasn't my intention".

The man apologised and they continued to chat on WhatsApp.

He repeatedly asked to meet her and suggested they could go for a drive in his car.

At one point the woman said: "You just want sex, it makes me scared."

The jury was told that the defendant replied: "No, I don't just want this. I want to meet and be friends too."

The woman told the jury: "It was scaring me. I only wanted to meet someone that could help me improve my English."

Punched

She said she did agree to meet the man and they arranged for him to pick her up at her address in Dublin city centre.

She said he looked friendly and was smiling and she got into the car.

The court heard he drove to the campus but the woman didn't know where she was.

She testified that he parked in an area with no one around.

The woman said she began to feel scared because "we had said we are going for a coffee".

She told the court he turned the engine off and she heard the car doors locking. She said he then became very aggressive.

"He changed completely the way he was talking to me. He was saying a lot of bad words and I couldn't understand," the woman added.

"He was looking like a monster. His face wasn't the same face that smiled to me when I got into his car.

"He was calling me bad names and trying to touch me.

"I tried to take his hands away, and I couldn't.

"The only word I could say to him, stop, stop, I want my house, stop, stop."

The woman said the man put his hand on her knee and pulled her dress up to her thigh. She said he held her arm and her breast was exposed.

During a struggle she elbowed him in his face and he punched her head, she said. She then managed to take her seat belt off and unlock the car door.

"I opened the door and shouted for help. He was holding me and he opened his hands. It's like he was afraid of someone hearing my screams."

She said he drove off leaving her there and a woman out walking helped her get a taxi home. The trial continues.

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