A MAN has lost an appeal against a jail term he received for a violent sexual assault on an 18-year-old woman in his flat in 2009.
Noel Holland (37) claimed an eight year sentence he received for the attack, including three years suspended with five years of post-release supervision, was excessive and in breach of what was allowable in law.
The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) rejected his appeal and said there was no error in the sentence and it did not, in reality, offend the maximum ten year penalty allowed under law for such an offence.
Holland, of Clarkes Flats, Main Street, Templemore, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty in the Central Criminal Court in 2011 to the attack on the woman on February 1, 2009 and was sentenced by Mr Justice Paul Carney who also ordered that he keep away from the victim "in perpetuity".
The woman, who said in her victim impact statement she had tried to kill herself many times after the attack, has since died, the CCA heard.
Mr Justice John MacMenamin, on behalf of the three-judge CCA, said it was a serious sexual assault which arose after Holland met the victim for the first time on the morning of the assault.
He later offered to call her a taxi to take her home from his flat but then invited her to sleep on his bed and he would sleep on the couch.
She did so but he later got into bed with her and began to choke her before using threats of further violence to force her to carry out sexual acts. She managed to get in touch with her parents using her mobile phone during the ordeal and Holland was arrested a short time later.
The CCA heard that with remission, Holland is due for release from prison after three years and nine months.
Rejecting his appeal, the CCA said it had been contended by the defence that the sentence imposed on him amounts to a total of 13 years (eight imprisonment, five supervision) and that this was exceeded the maximum allowable.
This contention hinged to a large degree on hypothesis as Holland "may" only have to serve the full sentence if he re-offended. The "active effect" of his sentence was that he was only liable to serve five years, the CCA said.
If he had to serve the full eight years, then all that would be required would be for the supervision period to be reduced from five to two years and this had not occurred, the CCA said.