Thursday 29 September 2016

'I can't stop screaming inside, my heart is bleeding with shock' - victim (74) who was raped by man (24)

Man (24) raped elderly woman (74) after breaking into her bedroom dressed in balaclava

Sonya McLean

Published 25/05/2016 | 21:29

Anthony Hussey. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.
Anthony Hussey. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.

A pensioner who was raped by a man after he had broken into her home said she felt "ripped open" by the "phantom" who appeared out of the darkness.

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She asked: "How can he behave with such brutality? A woman three times his age. He could be my grandson."

However, the brave woman (74) said her home had been her "paradise" and that she felt she owed to it herself to work towards reclaiming it.

Anthony Hussey (24), from Ardshillane, Sneem, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to twice raping the woman at her home on September 20, 2014.

The bar manager will be sentenced at the Central Criminal Court next month.

He was wearing dark clothing and a balaclava when he burst into the woman's bedroom and told her: "It's just one thing and you are going to like it."

After the depraved assault, Hussey told his victim: "You enjoyed that didn't you?" He then covered her body with a duvet and left her home.

In a moving victim impact statement read out at the Central Criminal Court, the woman recalled how, after the rape, she was sobbing uncontrollably like a small child, "broken, terrorised, waiting for my death.

"This phantom out of the darkness, standing in front of me, demanding sex. I had no option but to fight. My feeble attempts to push him away.

"I was too weak or clumsy to defend myself, which seemed to amuse him. He started mocking me. When I pulled at his balaclava he said, 'Ah, you want to see my face now.'

"The belittling comments continued. He threatened me with a gang outside. I knew I had no chance of winning his game."

She said it was more than a year and a half since the rape and she felt "ashamed, naked, raw and so old, disgusted, betrayed and humiliated. There are not enough words.

"I can't stop screaming inside. My heart is bleeding with shock. I feel ripped open, stood naked to the core of my being, reduced to nothing. I feel so hollowed out. I feel so small, having been reduced to a puppet like from a Punch and Judy show," the woman continued.

She had always preferred her own company and had no words to describe the impact the rape had on her life.

"It was an invasion of my privacy. I feel vulnerable.

"The word 'sex' did not exist when I was growing up. Being my age, it is hard to break this taboo. I would rather be silent and forget what happened.

"I want to live in the present and get on with my life but I need to break through the taboos, embarrassment and shame. The broken being inside does not stop screaming in fear. I need to be rescued from drowning in the aftermath."

However, her home was her "paradise" and she was now working towards reclaiming it.

Sergeant Michael Quirke told Tom Creed SC, prosecuting, that Hussey had been at the woman's house earlier that morning.

She had woken to loud banging on the doors and windows.

Hussey claimed he had gone there by mistake having been drinking heavily through the night and went home.

He then returned, broke into her house and raped her.

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