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Dublin: 3°C Friday 4 December 2020

Limerick man who made death threats through Facebook to rape victim jailed for six years

The 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to raping the 19-year-old victim in November 2015,

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A LIMERICK MAN who made death threats through Facebook to a woman he had raped has been jailed for six years.

The 26-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty to one count of raping the then-19-year-old woman in November 2015 at a location in County Limerick.

He also admitting intimidation of a witness and attempting to pervert the court of justice on subsequent dates in November 2015.

The victim knew the man’s family and had agreed to go to the defendant’s house on the date in question after he told her he was having a party.

When the woman arrived at the home, she discovered that there was nobody else there and the man then raped her.

The court heard that two weeks after the rape, the victim’s sister started getting Facebook messages from a fake profile set up by the defendant.

The 11 messages threatened the two sisters to drop the charges against him. Some of the messages read as follows: “Tell your sis she dead (sic)”, “She has til Monday to drop all charges cos dat fella (sic) did nothing to her”, “You’re getting it and so will she. You will be getting killed.”

The sisters were frightened and made a written complaint to gardaí. The man admitted having sent all the messages and said he hadn’t intended to do them any harm but said he’d “chance it”.

Garda Jason Mitchell told Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, that the 19-year-old woman had gotten on well with the man’s family and had known the defendant from Facebook.

In a victim impact statement read out in court on her behalf, the woman said the rape changed her life forever and that her trust in people had disappeared.

“I was afraid to go outside my own door. I couldn’t sleep for a long time. It made me feel small and worthless and that it was all my fault. It took me a very long time to realise that this was not the truth,” she said.

She added that she lives in fear of meeting the man or his family.

Mr Justice Michael White said the man’s attempt to intimidate was a ham-fisted effort to cover his tracks. He said it was an aggravating factor.

He noted a mental health assessment which states the man has a very low IQ. He also said his early plea of guilty is a significant mitigating factor and saved the victim having to give evidence at trial.

Mr Justice White made it a condition of the man’s bail that he should stay away from the women’s home and to have no contact with her, whether through Facebook, telephone, email or any other means.

About the author:

Jessica Magee and Declan Brennan

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