A 27 year old Edenderry nurse who was found guilty of digitally raping another woman in Brisbane has been cleared of all charges.
Last week Anne Marie O’Loughlin’s family were thrilled to hear that she had been granted a full re-trial following an appeal at the Brisbane Court of Appeal.
However, there was more good news when late on Sunday night, her family learned that the victim had decided not to pursue the charges against Anne Marie.
“We were delighted, it was wonderful news to get,” said Anne Marie’s father Shay.
He said the family had been preparing to travel to Australia for the full re-trial which was scheduled for August 22.
Mr O’Loughlin said while the family were “angry” about his daughter’s conviction, which they always claimed was a miscarriage of justice, they were relieved to have her cleared and would be happy to have her back home.
“We can put it all behind us,” he said.
He said they got the call at 11.50pm on Sunday night to say the claimant had signed a document withdrawing all the charges.
The O’Loughlin’s are now preparing for Anne Marie’s homecoming. All that is left to be cleared up are the bail conditions which were imposed by the Court of Appeal. “That could be done as soon as tomorrow,” said Mr O’Loughlin, last Monday.
He said his daughter felt a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. “She is over the moon, she is delighted.”
It’s expected that she will return to the family home in Edenderry within the next two weeks.
Anne Marie had been working as a nurse in Australia for the past two and a half years and was due to return to Ireland last December
During a five day trial in Brisbane last December a 12 man jury convicted the Edenderry woman of two counts of digital rape and one of the deprivation of liberty of a woman in the female toilets in the Caxton Hotel in Brisbane on November 29 last year.
Last February prosecutor Chris Minnery called for Ms O’Loughlin to be sentenced to three years with release on parole after she served 18 months.
Legal representation for Ms O’Loughlin claimed at her appeal that she had not received a fair trial.
At the Brisbane Court of Appeal Jeff Hunter SC said the judge at the trial has misdirected the dury on the issue of mistaken belief of consent.
Despite the fact that only 8% of appeals are granted, the Court of Appeal unanimously agreed to the re-trial which was due to take place in August.