Friday 23 March 2018

Sentencing adjourned in 'horrendous' rape case as lawyers seek psychological report

Man (34) found guilty of raping young woman with Down Syndrome

Faisal Ellahi: lured woman to apartment before raping her
Faisal Ellahi: lured woman to apartment before raping her

Andrew Phelan

Sentencing has been adjourned in the case of a man who raped a young woman with Down Syndrome.

Faisal Ellahi (34) had his case adjourned after the Central Criminal Court heard his lawyers are seeking a psychological report.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned proceedings to tomorrow morning and said he was "disappointed" that it had not been established yet when the report will be ready.

Ellahi, who is originally from Haripur in Pakistan, was convicted in December following a five-week trial.

He had denied charges of rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on June 12, 2013.

The victim became separated from her mother on a south Dublin street before being stopped by Ellahi, who lured her back to his house where he raped and assaulted her.

Today, Lorcan Staines BL, for the prosecution, said the defence would know later whether there would be a report, and the "time frame."

Judge Hunt said he was "surprised" because he thought the defence had requested a report and that the case was before the court "to see when that will be available."

"I am surprised, to be honest, that the matter of a report is still under consideration," he said.

When the trial finished in December, Judge Hunt had told the jurors their verdict was “absolutely correct” and that Ellahi’s claim that the woman consented to the acts or was capable of consenting to them was “absolutely ludicrous.”

At an earlier hearing, the court was told Ellahi continued to deny the charges and maintained his position that he did not know the woman had Down Syndrome when he attacked her.

Judge Hunt agreed with counsel that the case involved a single incident of rape, unlike cases of multiple rape or rape over a prolonged period of time.

But the judge added: “The effects of [that single incident] are horrendous way beyond the normal range of the offence because of the victim.”

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, submitted to the judge that he didn't know if the effects of the offence on the victim in this case was worse than that in other rape cases.

Judge Hunt said he disagreed with this and said: “This goes beyond trauma. This victim's life has been upended in the most radical way.

Ellahi could face a sentence of up to life imprisonment.

Counsel previously told the court that most cases of rape do not attract sentences of more than ten years.

Mr Dwyer had argued that Ellahi’s case does not attract a sentence beyond the median range, which is defined at five to seven years in an analysis of rape sentencing carried out by the Irish Sentencing Information System (ISIS).

He said that rape cases which attracted a greater sentence than this usually involved a more severe degree of violence and previous convictions. Ellahi has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction and gardai are unaware of any in his native country.

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