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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 June, 2018
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Man jailed for 3.5 years for raping woman he was dating

In her victim impact statement, the woman said the rape had “destroyed her spirit”.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A 31-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for three and a half years for raping a woman he was dating.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the woman had told the man she was not interested in sex without a condom but that he had penetrated her. The man stopped after she told him that he was raping her.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said the rape had “destroyed her spirit” and she described sleeping with a knife under her pillow for a time afterwards. She said the rape had “affected every branch of my life in a profound way”.

The man, who cannot be identified to protect the woman’s identity, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of raping the woman at her apartment in Dublin on 23 November 2014.

Mr Justice Paul Butler said he had been thinking about the case since it began and it had troubled him deeply.

He said that, in the 18 years he has been dealing with rape cases, this case fell into one of the lowest categories he had come across. He said this was not to denigrate it.

Mr Justice Butler noted there had been some consensual sexual activity between the parties and the only clear rule was no unprotected sex. He said this was ignored on this one occasion and that amounted to rape. He said the offence appeared to have had an “appalling effect” on the woman.

He noted he had no evidence as to the likelihood of re-offending, but said the man had a clean record and he took into account the testimonials handed into court. He said the man had “led a blameless life before this incident”.

He said he believed that the minimum sentence he could impose for rape was one of five years. He suspended the final 18 months, due to the man’s lack of other offending and prior good behaviour.

‘Living in fear’

Mr Justice Butler noted that the woman, in her victim impact statement, indicated she was in fear of the accused and afraid of him coming at her with a knife or sledgehammer. The judge said there had been no suggestion of any such violence or any violence at all other than the rape.

The investigating garda told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that the woman met the accused at a pub in early November and, after regular phone and text contact, they met. The woman made it clear that sex without a condom was not something she was interested in.

The garda said that on the night of the incident the pair were kissing in bed and the woman told the accused if he wanted to have sex there was a shop nearby where he could get condoms. The man said he didn’t want to and appeared to understand her position.

Later they were kissing again and the accused man penetrated her. She told him he was raping her and he stopped. The woman contacted a friend after he left and she was examined in a sexual assault treatment unit.

The court heard the accused man, who has no previous convictions, gave evidence during the trial and denied raping the woman.

Barry White SC, defending, handed in a number of testimonials to the court and said the accused man has a strong work history. He said there had been a “brief but intense relationship” between the two and they had spent quite a lot of time together naked.

White asked the court to extend as much clemency and leniency to his client as it could.

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Fiona Ferguson

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