Monday 18 December 2017

Man who raped wife told gardai 'it was not possible for a husband to rape a wife'

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

Declan Conlon

A man convicted of raping his spouse told gardaí that it was not possible for a husband to rape a wife, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The 53 year old, who cannot be named, pleaded not guilty to rape and false imprisonment of his wife at her home in County Wexford in 2011.

In mitigation, 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 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 Patrick McCarthy that the victim said she did not want her husband to serve any more prison time. She also 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 Mr Justice McCarthy to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what is tolerated in one country and another”.

Upon hearing Mr Peart's suggestion that the man be allowed to serve his sentence in Poland, Mr Justice McCarthy asked the DPP for clarity as to the likelihood of such an application being granted by the Minister for Justice so he could take it into consideration when sentencing.

Foreign nationals are often given reduced prison terms in recognition of the perceived difficulty of serving a sentence in a foreign jurisdiction

The man was remanded in custody until November 16 2015 for sentencing.

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