Both the prosecution and the defence are due to sum up their cases today in the trial of a 25-year-old man, accused of raping a woman at St. Helier marina, and at his house, last year.
Mark Fernandes is facing a trial in Royal Court over two counts of rape, which he denies.
Yesterday, his lawyer, Advocate Julian Gollop, opened the defence case. The first witness he called was a security guard who was working around the marina on the evening of the alleged incident.
He said he had witnessed sexual activity between Mr Fernandes and the alleged victim, whom he described as being “happy in the moment." He said she was on top of Mr Fernandes and that he heard her say ‘amor’ which he assumed meant love in Portuguese.
He said he wasn’t concerned about the woman’s demeanour, adding “she was just smiling.”
Pictured: Advocate Julian Gollop is representing Mr Fernandes.
Questioned by Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood, the man said “it was clear that [the woman] was drunk”. The jury heard that in a statement to the police, the security guard had described her as “annihilated."
The man said he had seen Mr Fernandes lift the woman’s dress up, unbuckle his belt and then yank her forward by her legs. “It was a bit rough on the way he yanked her legs towards himself,” he said.
A second security guard said that when he arrived at the scene the woman didn’t see him, despite facing towards him, as she was “really, really drunk." When the Crown Advocate asked whether she looked like she didn’t know what was going on, he agreed.
Advocate Gollop also called one of Mr Fernandes’ female friends to take the stand. She said she had known him since March 2019 and that she considered him as one of her best friends.
She described him as “extremely caring, very loving, very funny, loyal”, adding that his personality doesn’t change when he’s drunk.
She said he had been extremely supportive of her “at a time when she didn’t really like men”, after coming out of an abusive relationship.
One of Mr Fernandes’ former girlfriends was also called to give evidence. She described him as “lovely, a gentleman, very caring”, saying he had always treated her “like a lady” and respectfully.
She also said that when Mr Fernandes was drunk, it didn’t make any difference in the way he treated her.
Pictured: One of the alleged sexual assaults took place near St. Helier Marina.
Earlier in the trial, the Crown Advocate told the jury that both sexual assaults had taken place after Mr Fernandes and the woman had attended a party earlier that night, when the alleged victim was “incapable of consenting to any sexual intercourse because she was too drunk to do so."
The jury heard that, when the woman asked Fernandes if anything had happened between them, he said nothing. The woman claimed she only found out there had been sexual intercourse after she was seen by a police doctor and DNA evidence confirmed there had been sexual activity.
As Fernandes has since admitted having sex with the woman, the Crown Advocate said the issue in the case was not whether the pair had sex, but whether the woman had consented. “The prosecution case is that she was incapable of consenting as she was too drunk,” she explained.
Both the Crown Advocate and Mr Fernandes’ lawyer will be summing up their cases for the jury of seven men and five women today. Royal Court Commissioner Sir William Bailhache, will then sum up the evidence and give directions to the jury before they retire.
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