Friday 23 February 2018

Rapist has robbed my daughter of future, says mum

Faisal Ellahi lured the young woman back to his home
Faisal Ellahi lured the young woman back to his home

Conor Gallagher

A young woman with Down Syndrome has been robbed of "the future she might have had" after she was subjected to a brutal rape ordeal, her mother has said.

Years of work building up her daughter's independence were instantly destroyed, the mother added.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing of Faisal Ellahi yesterday, the victim's mother said the family and support services had brought the woman, who is in her twenties, to the stage where she had a job, could travel on her own and could run errands for her mother.

"All that work was wiped out by such depravity," she told the Central Criminal Court as her daughter watched via video-link from a room elsewhere in the building.

The victim became upset as her mother read out a statement on her behalf outlining how they had to discuss giving her anti-HIV treatment following the attack.

A victim impact statement read out by the mother on her daughter's behalf said: "I can't go out on my own anymore because I am too scared."

A visibly moved Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the mother afterwards that it was very difficult to immediately respond to such a victim impact statement. He told her he would address it when he finalised sentence on Ellahi. He adjourned matters until next Monday when further mitigation on behalf of Ellahi will be heard, and said he would finalise his sentence a week or 10 days later.

He told Ellahi's counsel that any prospect of a partially-suspended sentence would be contingent on him agreeing to be deported back to his native Pakistan on his release.

Ellahi (34), originally from Haripur in Pakistan, was convicted last December of raping the woman after luring her back to his house when she became separated from her mother near their Dublin home.

Inspector Sean Campbell told the court that the woman arrived home after the rape screaming for her mother and shouting "let me in, let me in". Her mother described her as "white as a sheet" and "shaking like a leaf".

The woman was later taken on a tour of the area by gardaí and was able to point out Ellahi's building on two occasions. DNA swabs taken from her matched Ellahi's DNA to a certainty of a billion to one and fibres from the victim's clothes were also found on his bedsheets.

In her victim impact statement the woman's mother said that following the rape her daughter began sleeping in her bed and would have night terrors. She also began suffering from seizures.

The symptoms abated after a while but returned in the run up to the trial, the mother said.

"He has robbed our family of the last two and a half years and (the victim) of the future she might have had. I feel a great sadness for her and a huge sense of loss."

The mother also read out a statement prepared by the victim which said: "I feel so scared at all times since he did that to me. I feel confused, angry and shocked. Sometimes I get flashbacks. I can't go out on my own anymore because I am too scared."

Irish Independent

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