Tuesday 23 July 2019

Man jailed for raping wife - despite her plea to judge

The Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, Dublin (Stock photo)
The Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, Dublin (Stock photo)

Declan Brennan

A man has been jailed for three years for the rape of his wife after she told the court she forgives him and doesn't want him to go to prison.

The man (37), who cannot be named to protect the woman's anonymity, was convicted last July after a trial at the Central Criminal Court of the rape and sexual assault of his wife at their home in Dublin on August 30, 2015.

He was found not guilty, by direction of the trial judge, of assault causing harm to the woman.

The man denied all the charges, but has since accepted the jury verdict and apologised in court to his wife.

During the attack, the man ripped the woman's clothes and put his hand over her face to stop her from screaming, the court heard.

Garda Leslie McCormack told the court that in a victim-­impact statement prepared last September, the woman said she spent years scared of what her husband would say or do and whether "one day he would be OK, another day he would be violent".

"For a long time I tried to live with it. I just lived hoping he would change. I thank God this is over. I'm not scared any more. I go home and I'm comfortable. I'm safe," she said.

Justice Paul Coffey noted that a week after making this statement the woman, who lives with the couple's two children and her mother-in-law, wrote a letter to the judge.

"I really do need my husband with me to be able to build a future for my children," it said.

She told the court: "I forgive my husband and I don't want him to go to jail - I forgive him for my two kids as well."

In a second statement made to gardaí, she said she did not want her husband to be in prison.

She wrote that "everything that happened is true" and "everything in my [September] statement is true" but said she regretted bringing the case.

"I did it all in anger. I completely forgive him," she wrote.

In the follow-up statement, she said she still had strong feelings for her husband and that he had "a very good heart".

She said he was a good father and said their children were crying all the time since he went into custody.

"They are crying every day. Seeing them suffering is very hard," she wrote.

The family are foreign nationals who have moved here over the last decade.

Mr Justice Coffey set a headline sentence of six years before noting mitigation factors, including the lack of any other convictions and his devotion as a father.

He said that after lying to the jury in his evidence, the man had since acknowledged his guilt and apologised.

He reduced the sentence to five years and suspended the last two years in consideration of his wife's plea for clemency.

He said the court must also consider the fact that she had said she would suffer more if her husband was jailed.

He said there iwa no suggestion that her plea was anything but genuine, but it must be considered in the context of the evidence.

He said the woman had previously said her husband was controlling, aggressive and violent throughout the marriage.

The judge said it concerned him that she now said she regretted going to gardaí and there may be a misplaced sense of guilt on her part.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News