Rapist who had to be physically pulled from victim by gardaí during late night street attack jailed
A rapist who had to be physically pulled from his victim by gardaí during a late night street attack has being jailed for eight years.
After hearing screams for help a nearby resident used his phone to record Bogdan Timorte (37) attacking the woman. This witness was too afraid to approach but contacted gardaí.
The phone footage, as well as CCTV footage of Timorte's movements, was played to the court. Timorte was captured on CCTV first meeting the intoxicated woman on Parnell Street, putting his arm around her and chatting before they turn into a laneway which ended in a cul de sac.
The woman described being in fear for her life during the "extremely violent" attack.
Timorte, formerly of Synott Place, Phibsborough, Dublin pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to oral rape and sexual assault of the woman on a laneway off Parnell Street on October 9, 2017.
The married father of three is originally from Romania and has no previous convictions.
Mr Justice Michael White paid tribute to the courage of the woman and noted the long-term impact of "brutal sexual assaults and rape" on victims.
He said that it was an unusual case involving an opportunistic crime committed by a man who now has deep remorse. He said Timorte's action on the night seemed to be out of character.
He noted Timorte's previous excellent character and said he is a hard working man. He set a headline sentence of 12 years but reduced this to nine years to take these mitigating factors into consideration.
He suspended the final year on condition that Timorte engages in an assessment for sex offender treatment. The sentence is backdated to the date of the attack as Timorte has being in custody since then.
Paddy McCarthy SC, prosecuting, outlined to the court that Timorte and the woman, who were strangers, met that night just after 3.15am on Parnell Street as the woman, who had a lot of drink taken, was walking home alone from socialising with friends.
He said it appeared Timorte took advantage of the woman's condition.
The woman said the last thing she remembered was being on the dance floor with her friend in a nightclub, before being in a struggle with a man who was on top of her with his hands around her neck. She said she remembered shouting that the man was hurting her before the gardaí arrived.
She said the man was angry and she felt in fear for her life during the attack. She sustained injuries to her head, neck and shoulders as well as bruising to her bottom and knees.
Mr McCarthy said gardaí were informed of the screaming at about 3.35am and were at the scene 15 minutes later. The attack was still going on when gardaí arrived.
Detective Garda Les O'Rourke said Timorte, who had his pants down, was on top of the woman when gardaí arrived and had to be physically removed from her.
Timorte was arrested but was unfit to be interviewed immediately as he was so intoxicated.
The garda agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, that both parties had a lot to drink.
Mr O'Higgins said Timorte wished to tender an apology for his actions on the night. He said Timorte was angry at himself and full of shame.
Timorte wrote in a letter of apology that he was "sorry from the bottom of my heart" and wanted his victim to know she had done nothing wrong. He wrote that he wished he could "turn back time".
The woman told the court in her victim impact statement how her life had changed following the physical and sexual attack by a man she had never met or spoken to before.
She said she no longer felt safe going out at night, did not socialise and suffered depression.
She said she was now getting "proper help" and had started the healing process after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I cannot let what happened define me," she said.
"I hope to have a normal life after this terrifying experience," she told the court.
She said during the incident she had fought against the man as much as she could and was in fear for her life. She said Timorte was strong and "out of control". She described continuing to scream despite being hurt during the "extremely violent" attack.
"He was choking me so I could not scream for help," she said.
She described how she had to take preventive medications for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases following the attack as she waited for test results. She said the medications had "devastating effects" on her health and body.
She outlined how she underwent medical examinations and had to have pictures taken of her injures by gardaí.
"This was more humiliation," she said, "but it had to be done."
She thanked the court for allowing her to speak, saying she could not describe how important it was to give victims a voice.
"I hope to give a voice to other victims," she told Mr Justice White.
Mr O'Higgins said Timorte had begun working abroad in 2006 in Italy and various other countries before coming to Ireland.
He said Timorte had travelled home to his wife and family in Romania often and had in many ways sacrificed his life to secure a future for his children. He was concerned about the impact of his sentence on them. His focus is on returning to support them.
Counsel said loneliness had been a significant issue for his client and that combined with alcohol had the potential to lead to unpredictable behaviour that would never occur when sober.
The court heard that a detailed psychological report for Timorte was handed into court along with a letter from an orphanage in Romania for which Timorte and his family have done some charitable work.
Mr O'Higgins asked the court to take into account his client's guilty plea and the fact he was a foreign national who would serve his prison sentence deprived of access to his family.
"He is a man who has done a bad thing but, looked at in the round, is not a bad man," said Mr O'Higgins. He asked the court to extend the greatest degree of mercy it could.