Friday 23 February 2018

Convicted killer guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Sonya McLean

A convicted killer and registered sex offender has been found guilty of leaving his former partner with life threatening injuries following an aggravated sexual assault at his Kilkenny home.

The 68-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault and intentionally or recklessly causing the woman serious harm in a Kilkenny town on dates between December 1 and December 8, 2011.

Earlier today, he sacked his legal team before he was due to give evidence.

He later told trial judge Mr Justice George Birmingham that he did not need overnight to prepare his closing speech.

In his closing speech, he told he jury: “I want to ask you people today to not to convict me on anything.”

“There are ten of you, just one of you please help me out and I will get a re-trial,” the man continued.

Paddy McCarthy SC, prosecuting, told the jury of five men and five women that the accused is a registered sex offender and has served time for manslaughter having deliberately driven over a father and his young son in the seventies.

He was jailed for five years in the UK having been convicted of seven counts of sex assault.

He also has a conviction for child abduction.

Members of the jury began to weep as they heard details of the man’s previous convictions.

The jury returned verdicts of guilty in relation to both counts on day seven of the trial following 90 minutes deliberation.

Mr Justice George Birmingham remanded the man in continuing custody and adjourned the case to July 29 for sentence. He registered the man a sex offender and order a victim impact report for the hearing.

He thanked the jury and told them it was a particularly distressing and difficult case in many ways. He exempted them from jury service for life.

The man could be heard singing the song ‘Homeward Bound’ as he was being led away by prison officers.

The victim told the trial last week that she woke up in the early hours of the morning to find a man putting his fist up her vagina and twisting it around.

“He put his whole fist inside me. It was the worst pain I ever felt in my life. I could feel his hand twist inside me. I pulled his hand out of me,” she said.

She said she spent four months in hospital recovering.

A doctor told the court that he wondered at the time how she was still alive when he first examined her.

The woman told Mr McCarthy that the accused offered her €10,000 to have a child for him.

“He offered me €10,000 if I had a kid for him. He said I could have a child for him and go away,” she said.

The victim said that the accused told her if she didn't have sex with him, she knew where the door was.

“He said if I didn't do those things he'd show me the door and I'd have nowhere to live,” she told the court.

“Sometimes I'd have to drink to do some of the things he'd want me to do,” she told the trial.

She said he used a vibrator on her “a good few times”.

The trial heard graphic medical evidence in relation to the life threatening injuries sustained by the victim.

Dr Ray O’Sullivan told Mr McCarthy “It was such an unusual injury, one that I had rarely seen in my 20 years working.”

The gynaecologist surgeon told the jury that the woman had a large 6-8cm tear in her vagina close to her bladder which was gaping by about 2-3cm.

“It is something you would more likely see in Sub-Saharan Africa where woman have been raped with machetes,” the witness said.

He told the jury that his colleague had opened the woman’s abdomen during surgery in order to treat an infection in her stomach, while he examined her vagina to see if he might find an infection there.

“We could physically make contact with each other while examining the woman,” Dr O’ Sullivan said which he confirmed meant that he and his colleague could touch fingers through a hole in the woman’s abdominal cavity.

“This should not be able to happen, normally the uterus, bladder and bowel would be in the way,” Dr O’Sullivan said. He regularly referred to the woman as “this poor lady” during testimony.

He added that he and his colleague wondered; “How is this woman alive? And that is not exaggerating.”

The man told gardaí in interview that the woman intended to perform an abortion on herself “by putting things up her.”

He told officers that the woman “had many sexual partners” adding: “You might call them clients really.”

A local sergeant told prosecuting counsel Vincent Heneghan BL that during the garda interview, the accused said some of these men were very violent and that at one stage she thought she was pregnant “by someone she didn’t want to be pregnant by.”

He told gardai that she said she would get rid of it “by putting things up her.” He said he told her “don’t be daft” and that he would give her money to go to a clinic in Liverpool.

The sergeant said the accused said he later bought the woman a pregnancy test and it turned out she wasn’t pregnant.

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