Friday 26 May 2017

'If I want to have sex with you, I will' - man jailed for seven years for rape and sexual assault

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

By Jennifer Ryan and Alison O'Riordan

A man has been jailed for seven years for raping and sexually assaulting a woman after forcing himself into her bedroom.

The 47-year-old Latvian native pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexual assault, anal rape, oral rape and false imprisonment of the 42-year-old woman at her flat in Tipperary on November 17, 2014.

The woman arrived in Ireland from her native European country some years previously and was renting a room in an apartment in a Tipperary town along with another male.

Detective Sergeant John Keane told John O'Kelly SC, prosecuting, that she arrived home to find her flatmate drinking in the sitting room with the accused. She went into her bedroom to watch television and soon after her flatmate knocked at her door to introduce her to his friend.

She later told gardai that she felt there was “something not good” happening so she pushed a cupboard up against the door to stop them from entering the room.

The woman was sitting on her bed when the accused broke through her door. He pushed her onto her bed and repeatedly beat her on the head and around the neck area.

The woman told the man that she had a boyfriend that might be visiting soon but he continued to push her down on the bed and tear off her clothes.

"He was kneeling on the bed fighting me. I kept shouting and resisting. He took off all his clothes and was trying to touch me. I told him he was hurting me but he did not stop," she told gardai.

The woman dislocated her wrist as he held her down on the bed. He punched her repeatedly and proceeded to lick her face and bite her breasts.

The father-of-two forced the woman to kiss him and tell him she loved him. When she told him to get out of the room as she needed a doctor, he told her he could assist her like a doctor.

Following the sexual assault the woman went into the corner of her bedroom and hugged her teddy bear. After getting dressed the man told her: “If I want to have sex with you, I will”.

Shortly after leaving the room, he came back into the bedroom and asked the woman to kiss his lips on three occasions. He and her flatmate then sat on the couch in the living room as she ran out the front door.

The woman later told a friend she had been raped. The friend alerted the gardai and she was brought to Waterford Regional Hospital for a rape examination. Her attacker was later arrested by gardai in Limerick city.

In her victim impact statement the court heard the victim had nightmares following the assault and had become "extremely intimidated of men". She had to take prescription medicines as her mental health deteriorated.

"I kept thinking he would find me," she said. The woman has since returned to her native country in an effort to rebuild her life.

Ms Caroline Biggs SC, defending, told the court that her client had been drinking in an out of control manner for the weeks leading up to the attack. She said he has no previous convictions for sexual offences.

Counsel said her client was disgusted with what he had done, apologised for his behaviour and understood he had to be severely punished.

Ms Biggs said the attack was not planned. “It does not appear to pre-mediated or planned and occurred in heavy alcohol intoxication in circumstances where he was visiting his friend," she said.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy described the complainant as a very vulnerable person, who was living in impoverished and unsatisfactory accommodation at the time of the offence.

Mr Justice McCarthy said he took the man's guilty plea and the fact that he was a foreign national with very poor English into account when sentencing. He backdated his sentence of seven years imprisonment to November 19, 2014, when he went into custody for the offences

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