Taxi driver who allegedly raped two female passengers says in court: “I did not rape anyone”

A taxi driver accused of raping two young women claimed that the second plaintiff asked him “if that wasn’t on the bill” while the two were having consensual sex.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the man told police in a prepared statement that the woman, then 20, smiled and kissed him during sex. He said she then asked: “Isn’t that on the bill?”

“I thought it was a joke. I jokingly said, ‘No, it’s not,'” he told police.

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The 50-year-old pleaded not guilty to the rape of that woman on August 9, 2022. He further denied the rape and anal rape of another woman the previous June.

The prosecution is of the opinion that each of the young women found themselves in a taxi after a sociable night in Dublin city centre and was raped by the defendants.

The man, whose name cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, denies the allegations and says all sexual interactions between him and each woman were consensual.

On Tuesday, the Central Criminal Court heard that the man was arrested on August 22, 2022, in connection with the alleged rape of the second complainant on August 9 at his home. After being warned, he replied: “I did not rape anyone.”

On Monday, this woman testified that in the early hours of August 9, after meeting friends, she decided to take a taxi home.

She said she fell asleep during the ride because she was tired and drunk. The next thing she remembered was waking up and the taxi driver raping her. She told the court she neither instigated nor consented to the sex.

The court heard that when questioned, the man gave a written statement to Gardai, which was read out to the court on Tuesday.

In his statement, read by prosecutor Gerardine Small SC, the man “categorically” denied the rape allegations and said all sexual contact with the woman was consensual.

He said he was working that night and the woman came to his taxi and asked if he would take her to her hometown. He agreed and she got into the back of the taxi.

He said they chatted as they drove and the woman told him her phone was dead and that was the only way she could pay. He said he told her she could charge the phone at home and then pay.

The man said the woman became quiet and he assumed she had fallen asleep during the ride. He drove around her hometown to increase the fare, which he was ashamed of.

He said he parked the car to check her address and noticed she was awake. Then she leaned over and kissed him.

He said he returned her kiss and felt “flattered that a younger woman was interested” in him.

He said she agreed when he asked if she wanted him to get in the back seat, where they had consensual sex.

The man told police he got out of the car when they were finished to give the woman a chance to get dressed again, then he drove her home. The man said she laughed on the ride and said, “Whatever I owe you, I’ll pay you.”

He said she went into the house to get a charger and then returned to the car. He saw her mother calling her from the door and the woman went back into the house. She then came back, took the charger and paid the fare in cash.

The man told police he was “ashamed” of being unfaithful to his partner and that it was “not something I am proud of.”

He said he should not have asked the woman to pay the taxi fare and called it a “stupid move.”

He reiterated his claim that all sexual contact was consensual and said he had “no reason to doubt her willingness to participate in the sexual activity.”

As further evidence, the jury was presented with additional CCTV footage and location data showing the taxi leaving the woman’s hometown on August 9 and then driving back to Dublin city centre.

A Garda analyst testified that footage shown to the jury on Tuesday showed the taxi stopping for about seven minutes at the location where the plaintiff’s alleged rape took place.

The surveillance camera footage shows the man getting out of the car and then sitting in the back passenger seat.

Almost six minutes later, the man left the vehicle and returned to the driver’s seat.

The witness agreed with Lorcan Staines SC’s defence that location data recorded the taxi stopping outside the woman’s house for around eight minutes.

Gardai were able to identify the vehicle’s registration number from CCTV footage and the taxi was impounded in the days following the alleged incident.

Police also confiscated the man’s Samsung phone and a black Nokia phone that was found in the taxi’s glove compartment during the search.

A Garda investigating officer agreed with Mr Staines that both phones had been analysed and that the Nokia appeared to be a work phone.

The witness also confirmed that the man gave the police the password for the Samsung phone and that messages of a sexual nature between the man and several other women were found on it.

While the man was in custody, DNA samples were taken and his profile matched DNA identified in samples taken during an examination of the woman.

The jury also heard evidence from a forensic pathologist at the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU), where the woman was examined on the afternoon of August 9.

The witness described that the woman told her that the man got into the back seat of the car, pulled down her clothes and had sex with her.

She also said she found multiple bruises on the woman’s thighs and an internal vaginal injury. She told the court there was no physical vaginal injury that could distinguish between consensual and non-consensual sex.

The process continues.

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