Edenderry woman appeals rape conviction

AN Edenderry woman found guilty of digitally raping another woman is appealing her two and a half year sentence.

AN Edenderry woman found guilty of digitally raping another woman is appealing her two and a half year sentence.

Anne Marie O’Loughlin from Fann in Edenderry began her appeal against her conviction at the Court of Appeal in Brisbane last Monday.

The 26 year old 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.

Saying her behaviour was “completely out of character” Damian Walsh, defending barrister asked for a sentence of nine months.

Judge David Reid describing the matter as ‘a tragic event for all concerned’.

“It is particularly distressing. A security officer at the Caxton described you as unduly intoxicated. You were finding it hard to stay on your feet and almost fell down some stairs,” commented Judge Reid.

He added, “I hope you will use your time in prison to address issues you have with the consumption of alcohol and sexual agression.”

Ms O’Loughlin will be eligible for parole on March 3 next year, her 27th birthday, having served 18 months including time already spent in prison.

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.

“The complainant’s inability to set out how she ended up in the cubicle with a woman she didn’t know is a significant matter,” Mr Hunter said, highlighting that the victim had never explained the origins of the offence.

He also said the victim had given the police one version and her husband another version of what had happened.

“In a case of word versus word a properly instructed jury should have had reservations about consent,” said Mr Hunter.

However, Michael Copley, SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, denied that Ms O’Loughlin had been disadvantaged by any direction given.

The Court of Appeal reserved its judgment.