Monday 21 August 2017

Man who twice raped heavily pregnant partner given partially suspended prison sentence of 10 years

The Criminal Courts of Justice (Stock photo)
The Criminal Courts of Justice (Stock photo)

Sarah Jane Murphy and Brion Hoban

A father of five who twice raped his then heavily pregnant partner has been given a partially suspended prison sentence of ten years.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the woman gave birth to the couple's second child three days after the rape.

The 53-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape at his home on 22nd and 23rd of December 2014. The jury convicted him of both following a three week trial last month (APRIL).

In December 2016 the man was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against the same victim. The trial heard he had videoed these sexual assaults using a torch and his mobile phone.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy then also suspended two years of a seven year operative sentence on condition he engage with the sex offenders treatment. The court heard he has failed to do that so far.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Paul Butler suspended unconditionally the final six months of of a ten year sentence. He further suspended two years on condition that the man engage with a sex offenders treatment programme in custody.

In a victim impact statement the woman described how she was left "stunned" after the rapes.

"The man I loved, the father of my daughter, and of the baby I was carrying raped me and then tried to kill me," the court heard.

The victim described how the accused ruined the birth of her baby daughter as all she could think of was what he had done to her.

"I couldn't function, I felt like I was on autopilot. I was there physically but not mentally. I had a nervous breakdown, I was crying all day every day," the statement read.

She said she believed the accused should never be allowed out of prison.

Garda Brendan Harte told Eileen O'Leary SC, prosecuting, that the first rape occurred at the couple's home on December 22/23 2014.

The court heard that the victim, who at the time was 40 weeks pregnant, was asleep in bed and awoke to discover she was being raped.

The second rape occurred a day later, when the victim woke up to find the man's hands around her throat, choking her. The victim believed she would die and begged her partner to let her go.

On this occasion the couple's one-year-old daughter was asleep in a cot beside the bed. The accused told his victim "The sooner you stop struggling the better, if you don't stop I'll smash your face in."

He also laughed and told her "I'm going to rape you up the ass" and he did this.

Ms O'Leary said the accused co-operated with gardaí but never expressed any remorse for his actions.

Blaise O'Carroll SC, defending, told the court that the relationship had initially been a "very loving" one, and said the accused was the primary carer for the couple's child.

He said his client's life was now "shattered" and his children had distanced themselves from him.

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