Wednesday 12 December 2018

Rapist gets 10 years for attack that left victim 'wanting to die'

Stock picture: Getty
Stock picture: Getty

Isabel Hayes

A man who raped a foreign student in the hall of her home after following her from a bus they had shared has been jailed for 10 years.

During the attack the woman began crying and screaming and Ibrahim Ahmed Gharib (39) threatened to kill her if she did not keep quiet. Gharib had earlier sexually assaulted the victim during the bus journey from Dublin to Carlow before following her home.

Before raping her, Gharib told the 27-year-old victim that he would "give her the best 10 minutes of her life".

Lawyers for the Egyptian national asked the Central Criminal Court to prevent the media publishing his name because of "threats to his life".

Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, said there was a constitutional imperative for justice to be done in public. She said Gharib never raised the issue of threats before and there was no evidence to support the claims.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said that once an accused is convicted of rape, his statutory entitlement to anonymity evaporates and the court has no jurisdiction to continue reporting restrictions.

Gharib, of Dolmen Heights, Pollerton, Co Carlow, denied rape, sexual assault and threatening to kill the woman at her home between July 7 and 8, 2016. He also denied sexual assault of her on the bus on July 7.

fter a three-week Central Criminal Court trial last November a jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts. Yesterday, Ms Justice Kennedy said the rape offence merited a 12-year prison sentence. She reduced that to 10 years in consideration of Gharib's lack of relevant previous convictions.

Garda Sylvia Ryan told the court on the day in question, the woman took a bus from Carlow to Dublin to visit a friend.

She met Gharib on the bus and the pair got talking. At Stephen's Green Gharib tried to kiss the woman, but she rejected his advances. Shortly afterwards she left him and met her friend at Trinity College.

The victim was returning to Carlow that night and her friend walked her to the bus station. The court heard she was uneasy to discover that Gharib was going to be on the same bus home.

Gda Ryan said during the bus journey, Gharib sexually assaulted her by groping her, while she tried to fend him off.

The court heard Gharib then accompanied the woman to her home. He asked to use the bathroom and when he emerged, he started masturbating in front of her, the court heard.

When she threatened to take a photo of him, he became angry before they fell on the stairs and he raped her. Gharib ran out of the house but was arrested at a later date in Dublin.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman said: "The protective layer around me has broken down and I have very little trust in humans." She said she was now scared to be in public places. Referring to the rape, the woman said: "In that moment, I wished to be dead. After this man raped me, I felt empty, as though nothing mattered."

Irish Independent

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