'Brutal' man is jailed for 10 years after raping wife and attacking her with hammer
Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30
A judge branded the actions of a man who raped his wife "cowardly" and "brutal" as she sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
The 42-year-old man is only the third person to be convicted of marital rape since rape within a marriage was made illegal in 1990.
"The crime of rape is an attack upon the bodily and psychological integrity of a woman," said Judge Isobel Kennedy.
She said the attacks had taken place in the context of a marital breakdown, but added that this did not excuse or justify his conduct.
"It was terrible for his wife," she said. "She was in the impossible position in ensuring her son had access to his father while protecting herself against him."
In June at the Central Criminal Court, a jury of 11 men and one woman convicted the man of raping his wife in their home in May 2014 and of threatening to cut her face.
He was also convicted of threatening to kill the woman the next day over the phone.
He had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to cause serious harm to the woman and of assaulting her mother on August 7, 2014, during a hammer attack outside the mother's Dublin home.
The court heard the man was jealous of the woman's successful career and was also unhappy at the attention she was giving their child.
The judge imposed a sentence of 12 years for the count of rape but suspended the final two years.
She imposed lesser sentences for the other counts, but ordered they run concurrently with the rape sentence.
Last week, the woman read a powerful victim impact report to the court where she said the attacks would stay with her forever. "I knew that night there was nothing I could do to stop him," she said, speaking of the rape. "The rape left me with a complete sense of powerlessness, like everything of myself had been taken away from me. I felt so broken and, for a long time, angry with myself for what I saw as letting it happen," she said.
The victim's ordeal began at the start of 2014 when she told her husband of nine years that she wanted a separation.
On May 25, 2014, he picked up a carving knife and threatened to cut her face open. He raped her in the spare bedroom while telling her to open her eyes and insisting they weren't separating.
The next day she went to the Family Court and obtained an interim barring order.
On August 6 he rang her at home and said he was going to "end things tonight". The next day he showed up at her parents' house demanding to see their son.
The woman and her mother refused to let him in. He said he had a present for the boy in his car and returned with a hammer.
He attacked both women before passers-by intervened. His wife lost consciousness at one stage and was covered in blood afterwards.
A passer-by set his dog on the accused, who swung the hammer at them.
The dog owner then chased the accused away and gardaí found him nearby hiding behind a car.
The court heard at one stage that the accused blamed "black magic" and "the occult" for the hammer attack.
Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said his client would find prison difficult as a foreign national who is far away from his family.
The man had his barrister read a letter of apology to the court for the hammer attack but made no reference to the rape or other charges.