Tuesday 17 January 2017

Jail for man who raped partner while she slept

Ruaidhri Giblin

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

Magnus Meyer Hustveit arrives at the Court of Appeal in Dublin. Photo: Collins
Magnus Meyer Hustveit arrives at the Court of Appeal in Dublin. Photo: Collins
Niamh Ní Domhnaill, who waived her right to anonymity, leaving court yesterday. Pic: Courtpix

A Norwegian man who was given a wholly suspended sentence for raping his girlfriend multiple times while she slept has been resentenced to 15 months' imprisonment after the Court of Appeal found his original term was "unduly lenient".

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Magnus Meyer Hustveit (26) had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault committed against his girlfriend (28) between 2011 and 2012. He was given a wholly suspended seven-year sentence by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on July 13, 2015.

Hustveit - whose former partner Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill waived her right to anonymity so that his identity could be published - returned to his native Norway after sentencing.

The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully sought a review of Hustveit's sentence yesterday on grounds that it was "unduly lenient".

Giving judgment, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the victim had woken to find herself covered in semen with no knowledge of having engaged in any sexual activity. A few days later she awoke to find she had been penetrated - but, again, she was unclear how.

Mr Justice Birmingham said it wasn't in dispute that this was an unusual case - and "indeed an exceptional one".

Much of the offending behaviour occurred without the victim's knowledge and all of the acts were only known because of detailed admissions made by Hustveit in an email he sent to the victim, following her request to find out what had happened to her.

Sentence

Mr Justice Birmingham said the combination of a number of factors - Hustveit's co-operation, his voluntary return to Ireland to be charged, his previous good character, the positive life he was now leading in Norway - justified and required a sentence that would be appreciably less than would be normal in cases of multiple rapes.

However, Mr Justice Birmingham said the court could not agree that the case was wholly exceptional as to warrant entirely non-custodial disposal, and that the sentencing judge "erred" in this regard.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the court was required to resentence someone who had been told he wouldn't be serving time in jail, had returned to his native homeland and had then been told that his sentence was facing a review.

It had long been recognised, the judge said, that taking away from someone a chance they had been given must be particularly burdensome and difficult. He said considerable significance could be attached to the fact that Hustveit had returned to Ireland voluntarily to face the review.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the original seven-year sentence would remain - and all but 15 months of it would be suspended.

Hustveit made no reaction to the court's decision when it was read out. He was told once again that he will be on the sex offenders' register and there were certain implications he would be required to abide by.

Irish Independent

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