Wednesday 20 November 2019

Rapist gets five life sentences for 'insane, horrible' attack on woman

Sonya McLean and Grainne Cunningham

A MAN was yesterday given five life sentences for the rape and assault of a woman, one of the harshest sentences for rape handed down in an Irish court.

But he will serve all five life sentences simultaneously.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton described the attack by Polish national Edward Piotrowski (45), of Clonmullen Hall, Edenderry, Co Offaly, as the "most grievous sexual assault I have ever come across in my career".

Piotrowski told the woman during the two-and-half hour ordeal that he was going to kill her, her partner and his daughter.

He tied up the woman's partner with rope and duct tape and sexually assaulted her in front of him before taking her to another room where he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex.

Asked to consider post-release supervision by prosecution barrister Fergal Foley, the judge said he did not intend for the former army officer to ever be released.

He sentenced Piotrowski to five concurrent life sentences for the false imprisonment of the woman, three sexual assaults and the rape.

Piotrowski was also jailed for other concurrent terms of 10, five and 10 years for the aggravated burglary and the assault and false imprisonment of the man.


The Rape Crisis Network last night welcomed the five life sentences as "a strong statement" but executive director Fiona Neary questioned why, if the judge wanted to ensure Piotrowski was to spend the rest of his life in jail, he had not handed down consecutive sentences.

Ms Neary said the recent report 'Rape and Justice in Ireland' had pointed to "judicial hostility to consecutive sentences" and said this case was a further example of that attitude. She also quoted legal academic Tom O'Malley who has proposed the imposition of a pre-release assessment to determine whether rapists remain a threat to society before they are considered for release from jail.

Delivering sentence yesterday, the judge said Piotrowski had behaved in an "insane way" and described the offence as one that "beggars belief, astonishing and horrible".

He said the victim impact reports, which were not read out in court, made harrowing reading and proved the long lasting affects Piotrowski's crimes had on the couple.

Piotrowski was convicted by a jury last October of rape and oral rape of the woman on November 25, 2007.

Mr Foley told the court that this was a very well organised and planned attack on the couple and that Piotowski had been annoyed about the new relationship the man and woman had formed because he had "unrequited love" for her.

Irish Independent

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