Courts

Monday 28 July 2014

'Predators' jailed for 10 years after gang rape

Ralph Riegel

Published 01/02/2013|05:00

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TWO young men who took part in the brutal gang rape of a woman in a van specially converted for sex behaved like "predators towards a wounded quarry in a David Attenborough documentary".

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The men, 16 and 18 years old at the time, were jailed for 10 years each before the Central Criminal Court as Mr Justice Paul Carney said there were absolutely no mitigating factors in their favour.

Both had vehemently denied the charges and had shown no remorse to the victim after their conviction.

Mr Justice Carney told one of the accused, who sobbed through the hearing, that he was "blubbing... tears of self pity rather than tears of remorse."

He added: "They committed unspeakable outrages against her."

He said the duo, who had insisted throughout their trial that any sexual contact was consensual, had "lied in their teeth".

"They were driving around (Cork) in a van specially converted for sex with a mattress in the back," he added.

"As far as I am concerned, they left their childhood behind long ago," he said.

The judge warned that, to treat them as children "would be like treating the perpetrators of patricide as orphans".

Both men treated the victim in an "insulting and contemptible manner".

Members of both men's families screamed in the courthouse as the sentences were handed down. The duo, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were also registered as sex offenders.

The victim said the trial had been "degrading and humiliating" and she said the men's claims during the two-week hearing had made her feel as if she was "being attacked again".

She also spoke of her terror when a riot erupted in the court on November 7 last after the duo were first convicted.

Members of their families were later charged with contempt over the melee.

Armed gardai were on duty in the courthouse throughout the hearing.

The victim said at one stage during the brutal attack in Glanmire, Co Cork on September 13 2009 she was in fear of her life.

The two men have a total of 39 previous convictions for burglary, theft, drunk and disorderly and threatening behaviour.

Neither has served any time in prison. Mr Justice Carney said they would both have been in a better place had they been jailed before.

One was convicted of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of the woman.

The other was convicted of attempted rape and sexual assault.

The attack occurred after the woman, who moved to Ireland because she felt "it was so safe", attended a birthday party in a pub but became separated from her friends.

Dangerous

She had consumed a quantity of alcohol and was then picked up by the two men and another individual in a white van. There was a mattress in the rear of the van.

The men drove her down an isolated country lane and tried to have sex with her on the mattress. At one stage during the attack, the older man said: "Hurry on, give me a lash."

They later denied to gardai that any sexual contact had occurred but subsequently insisted it was consensual.

"I was terrified. . . I knew I was in a dangerous situation. I was literally afraid for my life," the victim said in a statement read by Patrick McCarthy SC.

"My clothes had been ripped off me. I will never feel safe again. I have recurring nightmares of being pinned down and being unable to get up. I am reliving the incident," she said.

Irish Independent

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