Deliberations expected to begin on Thursday in court martial of former soldier for alleged sexual assaults

Accused man faces a number of charges for assaults alleged to have occurred at a military base in 2021

The board in the court martial of a former Defence Forces soldier alleged to have sexually assaulted two colleagues at a military base over two years ago is expected to begin its deliberations on Thursday.

The board, which consists of five serving Defence Forces members, acts as a jury in the court martial, and must reach a two-thirds majority when deciding a verdict for each of the charges before the court.

The accused man faces a total of seven charges: three of sexual assault, two of assault, and two misconduct charges, all alleged to have occurred on the morning of November 13th, 2021, between 2.10am and 5.30am. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

On Wednesday, Military Judge Col Michael Campion delivered his charge to the board, summarising the evidence that the trial heard over the last week. Col Campion said that it was board’s duty to consider the evidence presented to them in a “rational, detached and scientific” manner.

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On Tuesday, the court martial was told that the accused was entitled to a “special verdict” of guilty by reason of insanity, because it was likely he had suffered concussion just before the offences are alleged to have occurred.

Kathleen Leader SC, for the accused, noted in her closing remarks that the court had heard from an expert witness who said the behaviours of the accused, who had received a blow to the head in an altercation prior to the alleged offending, were consistent with concussion.

Comdt Seán Coffey, for the Director of Military Prosecutions, said in his closing speech that the defence had not put forward enough evidence to prove their client was impaired due to a concussion at the time of the alleged offences.

The court martial, sitting at McKee Barracks on Blackhorse Avenue in north Dublin, continues on Thursday.

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