Harrowing medical evidence

MARY CODY

Reporter:

MARY CODY

A nurse has told the court that she has never seen a wound so extensive as that sustained by the alleged victim of an aggravated sexual assault.Nurse Eileen Joyce told the third day of the trial that she was working as night superintendent in the ICU unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny on December 8, 2011.

A nurse has told the court that she has never seen a wound so extensive as that sustained by the alleged victim of an aggravated sexual assault.Nurse Eileen Joyce told the third day of the trial that she was working as night superintendent in the ICU unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny on December 8, 2011.

She said that the complainant had been brought in to the Accident and Emergency Department that evening. “She was completely unconscious. They were trying to revive her. She required urgent ventilation,” she recalled. “She was critically ill”. She said the woman had a lot of bruising around the shoulders and had marks around the wrist and abdomen. “I’m a nurse for 22 years and I had never seen a wound as she had. There was a large wound on her bottom, her skin was completely gone or it had been burnt. It was so extensive we thought it was a burn,” she said. Another medical witness, Dr James Ryan, told the court that he called to a house on December 7, 2011 and the complainant was lying on a sofa. He said she was very unwell, was drowsy and disorientated, but refused to go to hospital. He said she hadn’t a lot to say. The accused, who was also there, “provided most of the history” to the doctor. “She was very clear that she didn’t want to go to hospital. I felt she had a significant infection and possibly suffering from alcohol withdrawals,” said Dr Ryan.

Blaise O’Carroll SC, for the accused, put it to her that it was a “barefaced lie” that she was off heroin completely while she was with the accused. She denied this. “Even if I was taking heroin, it does not give him the right to do what he did to me,” she said. He put it to her that she gave two different accounts to gardaí