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Woman who was coercively controlled and raped by a man said he took just six weeks to destroy her life.


Criminal Courts of Justice

Criminal Courts of Justice

Criminal Courts of Justice


A woman who was coercively controlled and raped by a man she met through a dating website has described how the man took just six weeks to destroy her life.

During the relationship Dean Ward (36) sprayed Mace into the woman’s face, tied her up, repeatedly assaulted and raped her and threatened to kill her. He used various methods of control.

The Central Criminal Court heard Ward, who used a different name on first meeting his victim, has a conviction for assaulting and false imprisoning another woman during a relationship in 2015.

At his sentence hearing on Friday the woman (he raped) told the court she had led a quiet, happy life and had wanted someone to share it with.

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“It only took him six weeks to destroy me,” she said. She described how she had previously just wanted to be happy but now just wanted a life without fear.

Ward, also known as Dean Alexander Fowkes, was convicted following a trial earlier this year of four counts of assault, false imprisonment, threats to kill, two counts of production of articles, three counts of rape and coercive control on dates between June 11 and July 17, 2019.

The offences occurred over the course of a six week period between the woman meeting the man for the first time in May 2109 and his arrest by armed gardai at her home in July 2019.

Ward, formerly of Ballintlea, Hollyfort, Gorey, does not accept the verdict of the jury and continues to maintain his innocence. He has been in custody since his arrest on July 17, 2019.

The court heard that Ward, who stayed in the woman’s house, removed her contraceptive device as she slept and moved money around in her bank accounts. Analysis of phone records and Facebook showed that Ward sent the woman 100’s of messages a day, 165 on one particular day.

Ward blocked and deleted hundreds of the woman’s Facebook friends, messaged her friends pretending to be her and dictated responses for her to send to friends asking if she was ok.

Ward only allowed the woman to leave the house to go to work. She would have to take photographs of furniture and her feet to send to Ward while she was at work to prove she was there.

He also had photographs of her on his phone she was ashamed of and refused to delete them.

On one particular night the woman, who had been trying to figure out how to get Ward out of her home without being hurt, described how she was “fully certain” she was going to die during a terrifying ordeal in which Ward brutally assaulted her in her own home.

Her boss later noticed her distress and said she should go to gardai. They formulated a way to communicate and she left the house that night pretending to go to work.

Armed gardai arrested Ward as he attempted to flee the house. He told them during interview they had a good relationship and were planning for marriage and a baby.

The woman described in her victim impact statement how she had led a quiet life until the time came when she wanted to find someone to share the next part of her life with. She said Ward was very charming and complimentary and seemed to be looking for the same thing as her.

She said what she had gone through at the hands of Ward was “life altering”, leaving her with immense fear, anxiety and paranoia which would haunt her for the rest of her life.

She continues to be in fear that Ward would locate her, despite gardai reassuring her he is in prison. She described jumping in fear and panic at household noises or a ring of the doorbell.

She said she had to know she had done everything she could to protect herself and her family from Dean Ward and the thought of another woman undergoing the same thing kept her going.

She still fears she will have to face Ward again and told the court the events might as well have just happened yesterday. She said the fear and terror he had left in her was as strong and present today as it had been at the time.

She thanked friends, family, gardai and the legal team for their support.

Ward has nine previous convictions in this jurisdiction including a prior conviction in 2016 for false imprisonment and assault of a woman with whom he was in relationship in 2015.

His other Irish convictions include escape from lawful custody, endangerment and criminal damage.

Ward also has convictions from the United Kingdom for offences including assault, robbery, criminal damage, attempting to gain by deception and possession of cannabis.

Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo adjourned sentencing until July 25 when the case will be finalised.