Sunday 11 December 2016

Face of Martin Stokes who raped 14-year-old girl as she walked to her friend's house

Nicola Tallant

Published 08/08/2015 | 20:37

Martin Stokes
Pic: Sunday World
Martin Stokes Pic: Sunday World

This is the face of rapist Martin Stokes, jailed for 12 years for attacking a teenager in a field as she walked to her friend’s house.

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Stokes put his victim through a 17-day trial and claimed she was an enthusiastic, consenting party to the attack, even lying to the court that she told him to “go harder”.

He refused to apologise and said he didn’t accept the verdict of the jury.

She was only 14 when he raped her and in her victim impact statement, which she read to the court herself, she said she had suffered a ‘horrific sexual attack’’ and now suffers from panic attacks, anxiety and depression.

She told the court that she had started self harming and described how her teenage years were taken from her by Stokes and that her family had been forced to move home because of the attack.

Despite his protestations of innocence and his defence team grilling his victim for more than two days about her sexual history, a jury found Stokes guilty of rape.

Judge Carroll Moran said that in his 18 years on the bench he had never seen such “obvious” lying.

The 24-year-old from Kinnegad in Westmeath had a number of outbursts during the trial and during the sentence hearing his father had to sit beside him to keep him calm.

The trial heard that the victim had met him on the road as she was walking from her home to a friend’s house in Westmeath.

She said she knew him and the trial heard he did casual work for a relative of hers. She told the court that he persuaded her to go into a field, where he raped her.

When she asked Stokes to stop, he told her he wasn’t going to stop until he had finished.

Defence for Stokes later put it to her that she had consented to sex, was on top of him during it and told him to “go harder”, which she denied.

The next day Stokes called to her home and asked for a number for her uncle, who sometimes gave him casual work.

He was spotted the next day in the area looking for the girl, at which point her parents demanded to know if she was hanging around with him.

The girl then said she had been raped and gardai were called. DNA taken from the victim’s underwear later confirmed Stokes had sex with her.

During the trial the defence used posts from her Facebook account and text messages about her sexual history in an attempt to disprove her story.

Judge Carroll Moran said that in his 18 years on the bench he had never seen such “obvious” lying

Stokes had initially denied even knowing the girl, but when the case came to trial for a second time he claimed he had consensual sex with her.

Mr Justice Moran, in his last case on the bench, imposed a 12-year sentence with the final two years suspended on strict conditions. He ordered that Stokes have no contact with the victim or her family and that he registers his address with gardai on his release.

Stokes initially refused to enter an oath to comply with the conditions, saying: “I’m not signing no bond. Give me the two [years] on top.”

After a short discussion with his counsel he agreed to enter the oath, but added: “I swear on this bible that I’m appealing this.”

The prosecution told Mr Justice Moran that the victim would like the accused to be named publicly.

The defence argued that this would have a negative effect on Stokes’s large family, but the judge said this wasn’t a good enough reason not to identify him.

Counsel said Stokes has a wife and son, but has not seen them since he was charged. He could not offer an apology for the rape because he doesn’t accept the verdict of the jury and intends to appeal, his counsel added.

Read more here: Man who raped girl (14) in a field as she walked to her friend’s house is jailed for ten years  

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