Sunday 22 July 2018

Egyptian man assaulted student on bus then raped her in hallway of her home

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Stock picture

Isabel Hayes

A man sexually assaulted a student on a bus before he went home with her against her wishes, and raped her in the hallway, a court has heard.

The 39-year-old Egyptian national, who cannot be named at the direction of the judge, told his victim he would "give her the best 10 minutes of her life" before he raped her, the Central Criminal Court heard.

The man was found guilty by a jury of one count of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of threatening to kill the then 27-year-old woman between July 7 and 8, 2016.

The jury in the Central Criminal Court case returned the unanimous verdicts last November.

The court heard that identifying the man will not identify the victim, but she does not want him named because it will "destroy his life".

Ms Justice Isabel Kennedy ordered that reporting restrictions would remain in place for now and that she would deal with the issue at the sentencing date next week.

Yesterday, the court heard the man, an illegal immigrant, had a previous conviction for masturbating in public in 2013. He exposed himself in front of two women in Harcourt Street in Dublin, Garda Sylvia Ryan said. The court heard that a deportation order is in place, which he is appealing.

Gda Ryan told prosecution barrister Pauline Walley SC the victim was a foreign student, in Ireland for the summer of 2016. On the day, she took a bus from Carlow to Dublin to visit a friend. She met the accused man on the bus and the pair got talking. They then visited St Stephen's Green together, where the man tried to kiss her.

The woman rejected his advances and shortly afterwards said goodbye to him and met her friend at Trinity College.

The victim was returning to Carlow that night. The court heard she was uneasy to discover that the man was on the same bus home. During the bus journey, he sexually assaulted her by groping her, while she tried to fend him off.

The court heard the man then accompanied the woman to her home. "She was extremely unhappy about this," Ms Walley said, adding the woman told him to leave. Instead, the man came with her into her house.

"[He told her] he would give her the best 10 minutes of her life," Ms Walley said.

The front door remained open throughout the attack. The woman screamed throughout and the man threatened to kill her if she did not stop.

One of her housemates heard her screaming and came to the landing of the house, where he witnessed the rape. On being seen, the man ran out of the house. He was arrested at a later date in Dublin.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman said: "The protective layer around me has broken down and I have very little trust in humans."

She said she was now scared to be on public transport or in public places. As the man was raping her, "in that moment, I wished to be dead".

She added: "After this man raped me, I felt empty, as though nothing mattered."

The man, who was living with another woman at the time of the rape, maintained throughout the trial that the sex was consensual.

He does not accept the verdicts of the jury and maintains his innocence, the court heard.

Colman Cody SC, defending, said his client was a "productive member of society".

Irish Independent

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