Monday 19 August 2019

'You treated me like a rag doll' - jail for young man who raped fellow party-goer who was comatose from alcohol

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Sonya McLean

A YOUNG woman has described how she was violated and treated like a rag doll when a fellow party- goer raped her while she lay comatose on a bed.

“I was an easy target, vulnerable, unconscious. A random girl ripe for the picking. Too good an opportunity to pass up,” the now 21-year-old college student's victim impact report stated.

It was read out at the Central Criminal Court during the sentence hearing of Diarmuid Manning (21) who was today jailed for four and half years after he admitted raping the woman at a house party in Cork.

“I'm terribly sorry for you and me that the night ended that way,” the woman stated. “Actions have consequences..... no woman deserves to be treated like that, used like a rag doll. I can't understand what was going through your mind.”

Manning was caught raping the woman after her friend's came to check on her. They had earlier put the woman to bed when she became so intoxicated.

Local gardaí who arrived on the scene after the rape was reported couldn't rouse the victim and called an ambulance so she could receive treatment in hospital.

The victim's mother told her she had been raped when she woke from a coma the following day. Her father had just given consent for her to be examined at the sexual assault treatment unit in Cork University Hospital.

Manning of Stuake, Donoughmore, Cork pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and oral rape of the then 19-year-old woman on June 24, 2014. They were not known to each other previously, nor did they become acquainted during the party.

A local man, a primary school teacher, told Tom Creed SC, defending, that Manning was someone who contributed to his local GAA team and parish life. He described him as being extremely co-operative and very helpful and having come from a very good family.

Manning took the stand to read out his own statement of apology saying he deeply regretted what happened. “I unfortunately overdone it on the drink which has led us to this day.”

Manning said he hoped the woman had not been “permanently damaged” and said he hoped and prayed that she would make a full recovery and at some point “find it in your heart to forgive me”.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy remanded Manning, a business studies student, in custody last week having heard the evidence. He said the woman's victim impact report was “impressive” and added that “it was plain she was not a vindictive person but rather wanted to see justice take it course”.

He said the victim had thought “long and hard” about whether or not to proceed with a prosecution. Mr Justice McCarthy said he was struck by her “humanity” and said she had shown compassion towards her attacker.

He said Manning had taken advantage of her in “an extremely serious way” and noted that she had probably felt safe in a social situation with many people she knew there.

Mr Creed told Mr Justice McCarthy that the crime was “a huge blight” on both his client's and the woman's lives. He said testimonials before the court described Manning as a hard-working and pleasant young man.

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