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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Court
Teenage brothers sentenced for rape of 17-year-old girl near holiday caravan park in Wexford
The judge said the “terrifying and violent” experience has a pervasive effect on the girl’s life.

A BOY WHO raped a teenage girl in a field two years has received a sentence of five years detention.

After repeatedly raping the teenager, the then-14-year-old told her she had to have sex with his older brother, who was aged 17.

The attacks took place at night in a field near a holiday caravan park in Wexford and in front of a group of about seven other boys.

The two brothers pleaded guilty in May to raping the girl.

The older brother, who is now 19, cannot be named because to do so would identify his brother who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile.

Sentencing at the Central Criminal Court today, Justice Paul McDermott said that the victim was preyed on and that the “terrifying and violent” experience continues to have a pervasive effect on her life.

The judge noted her young age, the threats of violence used by the younger boy to get her to submit to the rapes and the humiliating public nature of the assaults as aggravating factors.

He said both defendants knew the girl was in a distressed and vulnerable state and was not consenting to sex.

He said that a significant mitigating factor for the younger accused was his youth at the time and now. He said that this type of serious offending in a person of this young age is unusual.

The judge noted this accused is still attending school and intends to complete his Leaving Cert in years to come. He said he was “clearly out of control” at the time and for the three years leading up to the rapes.

Justice McDermott said despite the boy’s expressions of regret and shame in a Probation Service report, there was a low level of empathy for the victim.

He said the defendant suggested that “he had a confused understanding of consent and minimised the seriousness of the offence”.

McDermott wasn’t satisfied that the defendant appreciated the appalling personal damage caused by his actions and he imposed a detention order of five years.

He sentenced the older defendant to seven and a half years with 18 months suspended, noting that there was some remorse and regret on his part for his actions.

Detective Garda Alan O’Shea outlined to the court how the victim and two female friends had been drinking earlier that evening. One of them told gardaí that her friends “were not in a good way” when the defendants approached them.

She said “the state [the victim] was in, she didn’t know what she was doing” when the younger defendant approached them and invited her to “go for a chat” with him. This girl saw the third girl was lying on the ground unconscious and she went to look for the victim.

She approached a group of about six boys standing at a spot and saw the victim lying in bushes with a man on top of her. She pulled her friend up and helped her get some of her clothes back on.

The victim later told gardaí that after kissing the boy he then asked for “head” and she said she didn’t want to do that. She said he then threatened to hurt her and “box her around” if she didn’t do what he asked and she felt very afraid and unsafe and “went along with whatever he said”.

The boy orally raped her and then picked her up and threw her on the ground and began to anally rape her, Detective Garda O’Shea said. The victim cried out “no no, stop stop” and the defendant turned her around and vaginally raped her.

The victim told gardaí that she tried to fight back but she felt too weak to stop him.

“I was trying to stop him but he was an awful lot stronger,” she said. She said he forcefully opened her legs in order to rape her. She said the boy then told her she had to have sex with the other person.

“I just kind of accepted it then…I accepted I was just not going to be able to get out of this one and it was just something I had to experience,” she said.

An extensive garda investigation involving door to door inquiries and the voluntary taking of DNA samples from suspects led to the defendants being identified and arrested.

They initially told gardaí they were not at the scene on the night but later claimed the sexual acts were consensual.

A trial was set to run in May but the defendants entered guilty pleas. The younger accused pleaded guilty to rape and oral rape of the girl at a coastal town in Wexford on a date in July 2019. His brother pleaded guilty to rape on the same occasion.

Reading from her own victim impact report, the now 19-year-old woman said that the attacks have left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said she dropped out of school and developed anorexia.

“I am petrified of 99 per cent of men,” she said, even including her father and brother.

She said that she found both the invasive medical examinations following the assaults and returning to the scene of the crime very difficult.