Northern Ireland

BBC Radio Foyle journalist accused of rape

Sean O'Halloran Image copyright Trevor McBride
Image caption Mr O'Halloran at a previous court appearance at Londonderry Magistrates Court

A woman has claimed that a BBC journalist raped her as her boyfriend slept downstairs, a court has heard.

Sean O'Halloran, 30, from Northland Road in Derry is accused of raping a woman in May 2014.

The defendant who is a journalist with BBC Radio Foyle faces two additional charges of sexual assault on the same date.

Mr O'Halloran, who denies all the charges, is on trial at Londonderry Crown Court.

The court was played a recorded interview from 21 May 2014, in which the woman, who cannot be named, told a detective that she had been having a normal Saturday night and had been to a bar with friends before she and her boyfriend invited a number of people, including Mr O'Halloran, back to their house.

She said she had been watching a film but went to bed because she was tired and that her boyfriend and two male friends were left downstairs.

She told the detective she got into bed fully clothed and that a short time later she had felt someone getting into bed beside her and putting an arm around her.

The woman told the detective she had assumed it was her boyfriend but that a minute later she felt this person pulling off her trousers and underwear. When she turned around she said she could see who it was.

Woman ran downstairs

She described him as being completely naked, that he ripped her top off and that he then sexually assaulted and raped her.

The woman went on to say that she tried to shove Mr O'Halloran off her and that she started screaming and asking him 'what he was doing?'

She said he initially said nothing before asking her: "What are you doing?", "what are you talking about?"

The woman said she ran downstairs and told her boyfriend what had happened before calling the police.

She further told the detective that she had known Mr O'Halloran for a couple of years and had disliked him because he had made previous advances towards her, which she had resisted.

She said on one occasion he had grabbed her legs and tried to kiss her.

Under cross-examination by a defence lawyer, the woman denied that sexual contact had been consensual or that she had made her claims up for money.

The trial, which is expected to last for five days, continues.

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