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Violent rapist was questioned over his partner's death

A CONVICTED killer and registered sex offender jailed for 13 years yesterday for rape was quizzed by gardai over another woman's death.

Walter Morrissey was described by a judge as a cunning, devious and manipulative man who represents a significant threat to the public.

The 70-year-old of Upper Bridge Street, Callan in Kilkenny was found guilty of leaving the woman with life-threatening injuries following a sexual assault at his home.

Gynaecologist Dr Ray O'Sullivan said it was an injury more likely to be seen in a woman raped with machetes in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Herald can now reveal that Morrissey's previous partner, Lorraine White, died from internal bleeding. The father of eight was questioned by detectives on suspicion of assault on Ms White in March 2008, but never charged.

An inquest into her death heard that Ms White died from injuries to her uterus and abdomen caused by a 10-inch copper pipe.

Morrissey, who has previous convictions for a double manslaughter and seven counts of indecent assault, was jailed yesterday for one of the most horrific sex crimes ever inflicted on a woman in this country.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Morrissey had used his fist to sexually assault a woman. When she was brought to hospital, a doctor remarked that he didn't know how she was still alive.

Morrissey pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault and intentionally or recklessly causing the woman serious harm in a Kilkenny town on dates between December 1 and December 8, 2011.

Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, said the victim has no objection to Morrissey being named.

Morrissey had fired his legal team. He made his own mitigation before sentencing in which he said he was trained in IUI (intrauterine insemination).

The victim spent four months in hospital recovering.

The woman told the trial that the accused offered her €10,000 to have a child for him.

"He offered me €10,000 if I had a kid for him. He said I could have a child for him and go away," she said. Morrissey told her if she didn't have sex with him, "she knew where the door was".

"Sometimes I'd have to drink to do some of the things he'd want me to do," she said.