Thursday 14 December 2017

Four years for attempted rape of escort

Ben Haugh and Emer Connolly

A father-of-four who ordered an escort to have sex with him at knifepoint has been given a four-year jail term.

At the Central Criminal Court today Mr Justice Paul Carney suspended half of the sentence after noting that compensation has been paid.

Earlier this year, Paul Rooney (30) of Sherrard Court in Dublin city centre, pleaded guilty to the attempted rape of the eastern European woman on April 2, 2010.

During evidence heard earlier this month, Garda David Hoare told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that the woman had been booked from an escort agency over the phone and driven to Rooney's house in a taxi.

Rooney asked the woman to put on a school uniform and while she was changing he walked into the room with a kitchen knife and held it to her throat.

He told the woman he wasn’t going to hurt her and just wanted sex.

She struggled and managed to snatch the knife away before fleeing the house semi-naked.

Rooney was arrested later that night and denied the charges.

He told gardai he paid the woman €300 but she refused to go through with the requested services.

Investigating gardai later found some of the woman’s belongings, including clothes and a mobile phone, hidden around Rooney’s house.

A trial date was set for earlier this year, but Rooney pleaded guilty on the morning it was due to go ahead.

The victim has returned to her home country but had written a victim impact statement which was handed into court.

The woman said she feels nervous, scared and paranoid since the incident and was “afraid to go outside her apartment in case she bumped into Mr Rooney.”

Mr McGinn said the woman was not able to continue working as an escort and couldn’t sleep or eat for days after the incident.

The court heard that Rooney has 40 previous convictions and has struggled with alcohol problems.

The court heard previously that Rooney – who works as a courier - could currently offer €2,000 but hoped to increase that to €6,000 by October.

Today, Mr Justice Carney said that he has “given very careful consideration to this case”.

He initially imposed a prison sentence of seven years – two years suspended – but on hearing that compensation has been paid; he reduced this to four years, two suspended.

He ordered the accused to enter a bond to keep away from the victim and directed that he undergo 18 months' post release supervision.

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