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Dad headbutted victim during attempted rape

A young father who headbutted a woman when she resisted his attempts to rape her has been jailed for four and a half years.

The now 24-year-old woman told gardai she woke on the bathroom floor after a house party to find Stephen Mooney (21) trying to remove her underwear.

She said she couldn't recall anything after the headbutt, but one of the house occupants later described seeing the bloodied victim backing into a bedroom and screaming hysterically for Mooney to leave her alone. The occupant told gardai that Mooney, a father-of-two of Maplewood Park, Tallaght, became aggressive before he left because he could not find his wallet.

The victim was put to bed but went to hospital the following day with cuts and bruising.

Mooney, who was on bail for an assault offence, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to attempted rape in the early hours of November 29, 2008. He had previous convictions for road traffic offences, criminal damage, assault and attempted robbery. The woman said in her victim impact statement that she had dyed her hair to prevent Mooney recognising her if they ever met again.

She said in the statement, read out by prosecution counsel Deirdre Murphy, that she used to be "chatty and easygoing" but suffered nightmares, insomnia and depression and was terrified Mooney would track her down and hurt her.

She added that she had not worked since.

Garda Lisa Prendergast said other witnesses at the party had noticed Mooney's behaviour and interest in his victim over the course of the night. The victim fell asleep on a living room chair after everyone, except her attacker, left for home.

The next thing she recalled was lying on the bathroom floor with Mooney trying to prise her legs open.

Paul McDermott, defending, said that his client's father had a drug problem which led to a disruptive home environment.

Mooney started drinking heavily and abusing drugs from an early age and that all his past offending behaviour had been alcohol-related.