One of four men on trial accused of the rape and sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl told gardaí he believed five lads and one girl in a car "would not end well".

The jury at the Central Criminal Court has been hearing details of statements given to gardaí by some of the accused.

In the statements, three of the men gave differing accounts of what happened on 27 December 2016.

The complainant has previously alleged she was raped and sexually assaulted by five men after getting into their car after she was separated from her friends on a night out.

Four men are on trial accused of rape and sexual assault. Three are also charged with false imprisonment. All four deny the charges. A fifth man is not before the court.

One of the men said he asked the driver to take the girl home soon after she got into the car adding: "I said this because I thought five lads and one girl, this wouldn't end well, common sense really."

The driver of the car told gardaí he did not see anyone having sex in his car. Another of the accused said he and others had sex with the complainant and said "she was up for it".

The driver, who was 17 at the time, made a voluntary statement to gardaí in which he said he stopped at traffic lights and the young woman got into the car because one of the passengers knew her name.

He said she asked for a lift and he apologised that he could not take her to where she wanted to go as there were too many people in his car.

He told gardaí: "I didn't touch one finger on her, I was driving."

The driver said he left her at a car park in the town and denied driving her out of the town. He said he felt a bit sorry for her and gave her his phone to text a friend.

"She looked unwell, she couldn’t speak properly to us," he said.

Asked if anyone kissed her in the car he replied: "No, I don’t know." Asked if he kissed her, he replied: "No". He said he did not witness any assaults.

Accused had initially denied having sex

Another of the four accused told gardaí "she was up for it" when he admitted in a second statement that he and his friends had sex with her.

The jury was told the man - who was 19 at the time - at first denied any sexual activity had taken place when he gave a voluntary statement to a garda.

He said they had dropped her off at a car park in the town and no one had sex. Some minutes later, he told the garda he had something more to tell them.

He said they had driven out of town with the girl in the car and that he had sex with her. He said after two friends had been with the complainant in the car he was "third" and when he opened the door of the car, she said "come in".

He said he took this to mean she wanted sex. He said: "She was drunk, I was drunk, she was talking to me, she was up for it", adding that she had spoken about having a "threesome or a fivesome" while counting the men in the car.

"She did not say no, she was liking it. Then we dropped her back she was kissing the boys," he said.

Garda took statement in aprtment bedroom

In his first statement to the garda, which was given in the bedroom of an apartment where he had gone to hand over his clothes to gardaí, the man said the girl had been standing out on the road waving down cars and his friend, the driver, had stopped because otherwise he would have run her down.

He said she got into the car and asked for a lift and lay across the three back seat passengers.

During cross-examination by defence counsel, the garda agreed that interviews would usually take place in the "controlled environment" of a garda station.

He agreed the man was young, but said he was 19 years old and was made aware it was a voluntary statement and of his legal entitlements.

He agreed that there were at last five uniformed gardaí in the apartment at the time, but he was just focused on gathering evidence, such as clothes and a phone from one of the accused. He said the atmosphere in the apartment was very relaxed.

The jury was told another of the accused told gardaí in a voluntary statement that one of his friends had sex with the woman and he was not aware if anyone else did.

He said a girl had approached them for a lift after waving down the car he was in. He said one of his friends knew her from Tinder, but they had never met in person.

'Wouldn't end well'

In the statement, he said they were "just having a bit of craic, she did not seem that drunk at all, she asked to move from the back to the front of the car because it was too warm in the back".

He said as she was getting into the front she leaned over towards him and he "rubbed her hair, just playing with it and she smiled at me".

He said she sat on his friend's lap in the front and said to the driver to just drop her home instead of going to another location.

"I said this because I thought five lads and one girl, this wouldn't end well, common sense really," he said.

However, he said the girl would not say where it was she wanted to go and the car turned again to leave the town. He thinks his friend was kissing her in the car and when they got to the location they all got out of the car.

He said his friend stayed in the front of the car with the girl and after a few minutes another of his friends got into the car. He was unaware what else happened or if anyone else had sex with her as he had gone off to urinate.

He thought the driver of the car was "shifting" her, but did not know if anyone apart from his friend, who was the front seat passenger, had sex with her.

On the way back into town, he said the girl was in the back of the car and had her head on his shoulder and he tried to kiss her, but she did not respond.

"She was all over all of us, that is why I tried," he said.

He said when they returned to a car park in the town his friend was again having sex with the complainant. He said he got out of the car and the driver remained in the car.

The girl then left the car after using the driver’s phone to text a friend, he said. He concluded his statement by saying: "I don’t know if anyone else had sex with her, they could have, I don’t know."

The four have all pleaded not guilty to raping the then 17-year-old girl at a location in the midlands on 27 December, 2016.

The jury has been told a fifth man was also involved but is not before the court.

The first accused, a now 22-year-old, has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment.

The second accused, now aged 24, has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault, one count of oral rape and one count of false imprisonment.

The third defendant, now aged 24, has also pleaded not guilty to an additional count of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment.

The fourth accused, now aged 23, has also pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

All of the offending is alleged to have been committed at various locations in the midlands on the same date against the same woman when the accused were aged between 17 and 19.

The trial continues.