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Man jailed for rape of girl (14) as she went to see friend

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Judge's gavel.

Judge's gavel.

Judge's gavel.

A Westmeath man has been jailed for 10 years for raping a 14-year-old girl in a field as she walked to her friend's house.

Martin Stokes (24) of Corkhill, Kinnegad, was convicted after a 17-day trial during which he called the girl a liar and claimed she was an enthusiastic, consenting party.

Stokes was linked to the crime through his DNA and witnesses who saw him in the area at the time. He initially denied knowing the girl but when the case came to trial for a second time, he claimed they had consensual sex.

In his last case before retirement, Mr Justice Carroll Moran said that in his 18 years on the bench he had never seen such "obvious mendacity".

"If he continues to protest his innocence he cannot be surprised when no one believes him because of his history of lying," the judge said.

Mr Justice Moran ordered that Stokes have no contact with the victim or her family, including by social media.

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