Saturday 24 March 2018

Woman 'stunned' after partner twice raped her while she was heavily pregnant

The Criminal Courts of Justice (Stock photo)
The Criminal Courts of Justice (Stock photo)

Sarah Jane Murphy

A father of five who twice raped his then heavily pregnant partner will be sentenced later this month.

The woman gave birth to the couple's second child three days after the rape.

The 53-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of rape at his home. The jury convicted him following a three week trial last month.

In December 2016, the man was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against the same victim. The trial heard he had videoed these sexual assaults using a torch and his mobile phone.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy sentenced him to seven and a half years, with the final six months suspended. The man has since not started a sex offenders course in prison as directed by Ms Justice Murphy.

In a victim impact statement the woman described how she was left "stunned" after the rapes.

"The man I loved, the father of my daughter, and of the baby I was carrying raped me and then tried to kill me," the court heard.

The victim described how the accused ruined the birth of her baby daughter, as all she could think of was what he had done to her.

"I couldn't function, I felt like I was on autopilot. I was there physically but not mentally. I had a nervous breakdown, I was crying all day every day," the statement read.

She said she believed the accused should never be allowed out of prison.

"I will leave you with four words: Justice has been served," she said.

Garda Brendan Harte told Eileen O'Leary SC, prosecuting, that the first rape occurred at the couple's home on December 22/23 2014.

The court heard that the victim, who at the time was 40 weeks pregnant, was asleep in bed and awoke to discover she was being raped.

The second rape occurred a day later, when the victim woke up to find the man's hands around her throat, choking her.

Ms O'Leary told the court that the victim believed she would die, and begged her partner to let her go.

On this occasion the couple's one-year-old daughter was asleep in a cot beside the bed.

The court heard that the accused told his victim; "The sooner you stop struggling the better, if you don't stop I'll smash your face in."

He also laughingly told her; "I'm going to rape you up the a**."

Ms O'Leary said the accused co-operated with gardai but never expressed any remorse for his actions. The man is the father of five children. He had been unemployed for a couple of years prior to the sexual assaults and rapes taking place.

Blaise O'Carroll SC, defending, told the court that the relationship had initially been a "very loving" one, and said the accused was the primary carer for the couple's child.

He said his client's life was now "shattered", and his children had distanced themselves from him.

Mr Justice Paul Butler adjourned the sentencing until May 24.

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