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Man jailed for six years for raping his wife

His defence counsel asked the judge to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what was tolerated in one country and another”.

Image: Shutterstock/www.BillionPhotos.com

A MAN CONVICTED of raping his spouse has been jailed for six years at the Central Criminal Court.

The 53-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s anonymity, told gardaí that he didn’t think it was possible for a husband to rape a wife.

The man had pleaded not guilty to rape and false imprisonment of his wife at her home in County Wexford in October 2011.

At his sentencing hearing the man’s defence counsel asked the judge to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what was tolerated in one country and another”.

Garda Cliona Joyce told the court that the victim said she did not want her husband to serve any more prison time.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said this was not a relevant factor in law regarding the sentence a court could impose, no more than where a victim was urging a lengthy sentence.

The judge noted that the accused felt that he was entitled to do what he did but he said this was not the case.

The offences were unlawful. There could be no question, even subjectively speaking, of any view that there was some form of consent.

Garda Joyce told Thomas Creed SC, who was prosecuting, that the husband and wife, who came from Poland, had been living in Ireland for seven years before the incident and had separated due to the man’s alcoholism and aggression towards her.

Arrest 

On 13 October 2011 she received texts and calls from him asking could he visit her at her home, which she refused. He nevertheless arrived at the house and she agreed to let him in.

When she told him she did not wish to see him anymore, he said he had come to make love to her and began dragging her to the bedroom. She tried to use her phone and to open the front door to call for help but he barred her way and forced her into the bedroom, where he raped her.

He was arrested eleven days later. He admitted being present at the house and preventing her from leaving, but denied raping her.

Garda Joyce agreed with Creed that he told gardaí “I would understand the arrest, but it was my wife” and said it was not possible to rape your own wife.

‘Clash of cultures’

Analysis of swabs from the woman’s vagina were positive for the man’s DNA. He was convicted following a four day trial in July 2015 and had been in custody since then.

Garda Joyce told Justice McCarthy that the victim had declined to to make a victim impact statement.

John Peart SC, who was defending, said it was very unusual for a victim to forgive her attacker in such a way and asked Justice McCarthy to take that into consideration. He also asked the judge to consider a possible “clash of cultures with regard to what is tolerated in one country and another”.

Justice McCarthy noted there was no sign of contrition on the part of the accused, but that he would still hold out some light at the end of the tunnel for the man.

He said he was making a modest provision for the fact that the accused was a foreign national with little English and said if this were not the case he would have imposed a seven year sentence.

Rape Crisis Network

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) welcomed the sentencing, noting: “Rape and sexual violence by partners is a significant problem that is highly under-reported and prosecuted. For 15% of adult survivors using rape crisis services in 2014 the abuser was a partner or ex-partner. We know domestic violence services also support many survivors of sexual violence within relationships.

“Marital rape often follows a pattern of serial and persistent abuse as part of more general abuse over a long period of time. This conviction should be a clear signal to the perpetrators of these crimes that this is a crime and it will not be tolerated.”

For legal reasons the accused cannot be named. Comments have been closed on this article.

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About the author:

Declan Brennan and Declan Conlon

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