John FitzGerald secures acquittal of 12 year old accused of raping 8 year old sister
March 17, 2017
John FitzGerald, instructed by Reeves & Co. (Ashford), defended a man, now 23, accused of raping his sister when he was 12 and she was 8. The back drop to the case was a miserable childhood for both involving a bitter separation of their parents and ensuing custody battle. In his interview, the defendant suggested his father may be responsible for the rapes. Disclosure revealed that social services had been involved to a great extent. The Crown relied on the sister’s evidence as well as the two parties’ mother, to whom the defendant had allegedly confessed to raping his sister on several occasions. The Crown also sought to rely upon the defendant’s counselling notes in which he had made some graphic and startling admissions but these were successfully excluded. The evidence having closed and prosecution counsel having concluded her closing speech, a witness for the defendant came forward, which potentially undermined the evidence of admissions to the mother. Leave was given to call that further witness between counsels’ speeches.