Saturday 24 August 2019

Eight years for rapist who had to be pulled away from victim in laneway attack

Footage of incident captured on mobile phone and played to court

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Fiona Ferguson

A rapist who had to be physically pulled from his victim by gardaí during a street attack in the early hours has been jailed for eight years.

After hearing screams for help, a nearby resident used his phone to record Bogdan Timorte (37) attacking the woman. This witness was too afraid to approach, but contacted gardaí.

The footage, as well as CCTV footage of Timorte's movements, was played to the court.

Timorte was captured on CCTV first meeting the intoxicated woman on Parnell Street in Dublin, putting his arm around her and chatting before they turn into a laneway which ended in a cul de sac.

The woman described being in fear for her life during the "extremely violent" attack.

Timorte, formerly of Synnott Place, Phibsborough, Dublin pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to oral rape and sexual assault of the woman on a laneway off Parnell Street on October 9, 2017.

The married father-of-three is originally from Romania and has no previous convictions.

Mr Justice Michael White paid tribute to the courage of the woman and noted the long-term impact of sexual assaults and rape on victims.

He noted Timorte's previous excellent character and said he was a hard-working man. He set a headline sentence of 12 years, but reduced this to nine years to take these mitigating factors into consideration.

He suspended the final year on the condition that Timorte engages in an assessment for sex offender treatment.

The sentence is backdated to the date of the attack, as Timorte has been in custody since then.

Paddy McCarthy SC, prosecuting, told the court that Timorte and the woman, who were strangers, met just after 3.15am on Parnell Street as the woman, who had had a lot to drink, was walking home alone from a night socialising with friends.

He said it appeared Timorte took advantage of the woman's condition.

Mr McCarthy said gardaí were informed of the screaming at about 3.35am and were at the scene 15 minutes later. The attack was still going on when gardaí arrived.

Detective Garda Les O'Rourke said Timorte, who had his pants down, was on top of the woman when gardaí arrived and had to be physically removed from her.

Timorte was arrested, but was unfit to be interviewed immediately, as he was drunk.

Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, said Timorte wished to tender an apology for his actions on the night.

Timorte wrote in a letter of apology that he was "sorry from the bottom of my heart", and wanted his victim to know she had done nothing wrong.

He wrote that he wished he could "turn back time".

The woman told the court in her victim impact statement how her life had changed following the attack by a man she had never met before.

"I hope to have a normal life after this terrifying experience," she told the court.

Irish Independent

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