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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 28 June 2022

"I can't go out on my own anymore..." - Victim impact statement of woman with Down syndrome read to court

Faisal Ellahi was found guilty of rape and sexual assault last month.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 5pm

YEARS OF WORK building up the independence of a young woman with Down syndrome were instantly destroyed when she was raped by Faisal Ellahi, a court heard today.

At a sentencing hearing today the victim’s mother said that the family and support services had brought the woman, who is in her twenties, to the stage where she had a job, could travel on her own and could run errands for her mother.

“All that work was wiped out by such depravity,” she told the Central Criminal Court as her daughter watched via video-link from a room elsewhere in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

The victim became very upset as her mother read out a statement on her behalf outlining how they had to discuss giving her anti-HIV treatment following the attack.

A visibly moved Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the mother afterwards that it was very difficult to immediately respond to such a victim impact statement.

He told her he would address it when he finalised sentence on 34-year-old Ellahi.


Mr Justice Hunt adjourned matters until next Monday to hear further mitigation on behalf of Ellahi and said he would finalise his sentence a week or ten days later.

He told Ellahi’s counsel that any prospect of a partially suspended sentence would be contingent on him agreeing to be deported to his native Pakistan on his release.

Ellahi was convicted last December of raping and sexually assaulting the woman after luring her back to his apartment when she became separated from her mother near their Dublin home.

In her victim impact statement the woman’s mother said that following the rape her daughter began sleeping in her bed and would have night terrors. She also began suffering from seizures.

The symptoms abated after a while but returned in the run up to the trial, the mother said.

He has robbed our family of the last two and a half years and (the victim) of the future she might have had. I feel a great sadness for her and a huge sense of loss.

The mother also read out a statement prepared by the victim which said:

I feel so scared at all times since he did that to me. I feel confused, angry and shocked. Sometimes I get flashbacks. I can’t go out on my own anymore because I am too scared.

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Pleaded not guilty 

Ellahi, who is originally from Haripur in Pakistan, pleaded not guilty last year to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on 12 June, 2013.

The court heard he continued to deny the charges and maintained his position that he did not know the woman had Down syndrome.

He has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction and gardai are unaware of any convictions in his native country.

Read: “Absolutely correct” – Man found guilty of raping woman with Down syndrome >

Read: Belgian man with ‘direct links’ to Paris attackers arrested in Morocco >


About the author:

Denis Tobin

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