Tuesday 20 November 2018

'I still wake up at night scared' - Spanish student tells of terrifying 21-hour rape ordeal in Dublin

  • In a moving victim impact statement, student said she 'still wakes up at night scared' after the attack
  • Young woman said after attack 'she did not want to live' and that Eoin Berkeley had 'stolen all of the confidence' she previously had
  • Earlier this year, Berkeley (25) pleaded guilty to three counts of raping the then 18-year-old at the Irish Glass Bottle Company site in Ringsend in July 2017
Eoin Berkeley, who pleaded guilty to the rape of a Spanish teenager in Ringsend, Dublin
Eoin Berkeley, who pleaded guilty to the rape of a Spanish teenager in Ringsend, Dublin
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A young Spanish woman has told a court she believed she was going to be killed during a 21-hour rape ordeal while she visited Ireland last summer.

In a moving victim impact statement, the student said she "still wakes up at night scared", no longer trusts male friends, and cannot walk to college on her own as a result of what happened to her.

She said that after the attack by Eoin Berkeley (25) she "did not want to live" and that he had "stolen all of the confidence" she previously had.

"The experience I went through was terrifying," she said.

The young woman watched on with her parents and two brothers as her statement was read out at the Central Criminal Court by prosecution counsel Caroline Biggs SC.

Earlier this year, Berkeley, originally from Finglas but now of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to three counts of raping the then 18-year-old at the Irish Glass Bottle Company site, off Pigeon House Road in Ringsend, at a time unknown between July 15 and 16, 2017.

At a sentencing hearing today, Mr Justice Michael White considered victim impact statements from the woman and her parents, evidence from an investigating garda detective, and submissions from Berkeley’s counsel Michael Bowman SC.

From a small town in Spain, she had never been away from home before she came to Ireland to do a summertime course to improve her English.

She had only been in Dublin for a fortnight when she encountered Berkeley by chance at a Luas stop in the city centre.

He lured her to the disused site where he tied her hands with a dog lead, raped her three times in a 21-hour period and threatened to kill her by bashing her head with a rock.

The court heard Berkeley did not admit to the crime while in garda custody and gave a false alibi.

But he would later make an admission of sorts, taking what his counsel described as "the grotesque step" of writing "I am so sorry" in his own blood on the wall of a courtroom holding cell.

After hearing submissions, the judge said he would need time to consider the appropriate sentence and adjourned the matter until November 1.

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