Wednesday 22 November 2017

Man (53) who falsely imprisoned and raped his wife at her home jailed for six years

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Declan Conlon and Declan Brennan

A man convicted of raping his spouse has been jailed for six years at the Central Criminal Court.

The 53 year old Wexford resident, who cannot be named to protect the victim's anonymity, told gardaí that he didn't think it was possible for a husband to rape a wife.

The man had pleaded not guilty to rape and false imprisonment of his wife at her home in Co Wexford in October 2011.

At his sentencing hearing the man's defence counsel asked the judge to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what was tolerated in one country and another”.

Garda Cliona Joyce told the court that the victim said she did not want her husband to serve any more prison time.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said this was not a relevant factor in law regarding the sentence a court could impose, no more than where a victim was urging a lengthy sentence.

The judge noted that the accused felt that he was entitled to do what he did but he said this was not the case.

“The offences were unlawful. There could be no question, even subjectively speaking, of any view that there was some form of consent,” he said.

Gda Joyce told Thomas Creed SC, prosecuting, that the husband and wife, who came from Poland, had been living in Ireland for seven years before the incident and had separated due to the man's alcoholism and aggression towards her.

On October 13, 2011 she received texts and calls from him asking could he visit her at her home, which she refused. He nevertheless arrived at the house and she agreed to let him in.

When she told him she did not wish to see him anymore, he said he had come to make love to her and began dragging her to the bedroom. She tried to use her phone and to open the front door to call for help but he barred her way and forced her into the bedroom, where he raped her.

He was arrested eleven days later. He admitted being present at the house and preventing her from leaving, but denied raping her.

Gda Joyce agreed with Mr Creed that he told gardaí “I would understand the arrest, but it was my wife” and said it was not possible to rape your own wife.

Analysis of swabs from the woman's vagina were positive for the man's DNA. He was convicted following a four day trial in July 2015 and had been in custody since then.

Gda Joyce told Mr Justice McCarthy that the victim had declined to to make a victim impact statement.

John Peart SC, defending, said it was very unusual for a victim to forgive her attacker in such a way and asked Mr Justice McCarthy to take that into consideration.

He also asked the judge to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what is tolerated in one country and another”.

Mr Justice McCarthy noted there was no sign of contrition on the part of the accused but that he would still hold out some light at the end of the tunnel for the man.

He said he was making a modest provision for the fact that the accused was a foreign national with little English and said if this were not the case, he would have imposed a seven year sentence.

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