Friday 24 November 2017

Woman awarded €85,000 over brutal rape

Tim Healy

A 59-year-old woman who was imprisoned and brutally raped by a man in his flat nine years ago was yesterday awarded €85,000 in High Court damages against him.

The man is now a ward of court and cannot be named. He did not defend the action which was before the court for assessment of damages only. He was jailed for six years for the attack which was later increased to 10 following an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton said no sum of money could compensate the woman for what was a brutal rape in which she was held for three hours before she escaped. She subsequently suffered from symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder for four or five years, the judge said.

But he added he was glad to note the woman had not allowed the attack to destroy her life.

Based on previous case law, including a recent finding that €450,000 is the maximum amount that should be payable in general damages for personal injury cases, for instance paraplegia, the judge felt the appropriate sum in this case was €75,000, plus €10,000 for aggravated damages.

In her action, the woman claimed she feared for her life during the rape and assault. She was traumatised, degraded and humiliated and felt powerless.

She felt certain she was going to be killed as her attacker became increasingly violent, including squeezing her neck which resulted in bruising. She managed to escape after three hours.

She subsequently suffered from flashbacks, feelings of nausea and increased distress as well as feeling ashamed and unclean.

She attended the Rape Crisis Centre on a number of occasions and regularly relives the night of the attack.

Irish Independent

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