Sunday 25 September 2016

Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill to sue her ex-partner over multiple rapes while she slept

Published 05/02/2016 | 02:30

Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill leaves the Court of Appeal in Dublin. Photo: Collins
Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill leaves the Court of Appeal in Dublin. Photo: Collins
Magnus Meyer Hustveit

A woman who endured a "shocking betrayal of trust" when her former boyfriend raped her multiple times while she was sleeping is suing him for damages.

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The Court of Appeal yesterday reserved its decision on the appeal by the DPP against the leniency of a seven-year suspended sentence imposed on Norwegian Magnus Meyer Hustveit by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on July 13, 2015.

Hustveit (25) had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault committed against his girlfriend between 2011 and 2012.

Hustveit, whose former partner waived her right to anonymity so his identity could be published, returned to his native Norway after sentencing.

His victim, Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill (28), was supported by friends yesterday at the Court of Appeal.

The Irish Independent has learned that papers seeking compensation arising from the assaults were lodged with the Central Office of the High Court.

The papers could not be served personally on Hustveit yesterday as he did not exit the Criminal Courts of Justice via any public entrance or exit.

However, his victim may seek a court order directing they be served on him in Norway.

In seeking a review of his sentence on grounds it was "unduly lenient", prosecuting counsel Mary Rose Gearty SC said it wasn't easy to imagine circumstances that would justify a non-custodial sentence for rape.

Ms Gearty said there were multiple rapes in this case and a "shocking betrayal of trust". It was unusual in that it combined a sleeping victim and a relationship.

Counsel said the victim's trauma was increased by Hustveit's suggestions she had lied about the symptoms from which she was suffering.

Ms Gearty submitted that the judge erred by not acknowledging that this range of behaviour and class of conduct merited a lengthy period of custody.

Counsel for Hustveit, Caroline Biggs SC, said the exceptional circumstance in this case was "the all-important email" Hustveit had sent to his former partner in which he acknowledged what he had done.

He pressed 'send' on the email because she had asked him, Ms Biggs said.

The court hear heard Ms Ní Dhomhnaill needed to understand exactly what he had done so she could get closure and move on with her life.

The three-judge court reserved judgment.

Irish Independent

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