Man found guilty of raping his partner and beating her in front of their crying toddler
A Cork man has been found guilty of raping his former partner two months after he sexually assaulted her and then beat her up in front of their crying toddler.
The 30-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to raping his former partner at their Cork city home on September 8, 2013.
He pleaded guilty in the Central Criminal Court to one count of sexually assaulting her by forcing her to perform a sex act and to assault causing harm at the same address on July 10, 2013.
Following a week-long trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the rape count after nearly four-and-a-half hours of deliberating.
After the guilty verdict was handed down, they were told the man has 16 previous convictions, including several convictions for rape, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault. He is currently serving a 12-year sentence.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey will sentence him for these offences on May 8.
At the start of the trial, Thomas Creed SC, prosecuting, told the jury of 10 men and two women that the man and woman met in 2010 and had a son together a couple of years later.
The 26-year-old woman told the court that on the night of July 10, 2013, she and her partner went to bed as usual, with their 15-month-old son sleeping in the next room. She said she was drifting off to sleep when, without warning, he grabbed her by her hair.
“I was terrified,” the woman said. “I had gone from sleeping in my own bed to being completely attacked. I didn't know what was going on.”
The man then forced the woman to perform oral sex, before she managed to escape to the bathroom. However, after hearing her son crying, she ran into his bedroom. The man followed her in and assaulted her, hitting her head off a bed in the room while their son cried in his cot.
Afterwards, the woman said she struggled to comfort her crying child.
“I was so scared and so terrified. I couldn't even sing Twinkle Twinkle to calm him down,” the woman said through her tears. “I couldn't get the words out.”
Some time later, the man knocked on the door and asked why it was locked, the court heard. “He told me he didn't know what happened,” she said.
The woman agreed with defence barrister, Ciaran O'Loughlin SC, that prior to this, they had a “harmonious” relationship.
The couple eventually broke up and on the morning of September 8, 2013, the woman and their son went to the man's home so they could work out a maintenance and visitation agreement.
The woman told the court the the toddler had fallen asleep in his buggy and they were discussing the agreement when the man suddenly said: “Can we just f*** and I'll sign whatever agreement you want?”
The woman said she immediately became “uneasy” and said she wanted to leave. But the man told her, “You're going to go upstairs, you're going to strip off and we're going to f***.”
The woman said she begged him not to do it and asked him: “Are you actually going to rape me?”
“Some part of me thought if I said that to him, it would shock him out of doing anything,” she told the court. “But he didn't even flinch.”
During the attack, the woman said she vomited twice, but each time the man led her back into the bedroom and continued to rape her. Afterwards, she said he made her a cup of coffee before walking her and their child outside to meet her parents.
The woman rang a helpline that night, went to the Rape Crisis Centre the next day and then reported the incident to gardaí.
The man told gardaí the woman asked him to have sex with him to help her get over the July incident.