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Man who repeatedly raped ex-partner and teenage foster daughter jailed for 18 years

The 37-year-old Limerick man threatened the child’s foster mother with a knife during the night long ordeal.

Image: Zolnierek via Shutterstock

WARNING: Details of this case may be disturbing to read. 

A MAN WHO broke into his ex-partner’s home before repeatedly raping her and her teenage foster daughter has been jailed for 18 years.

The 37-year-old Limerick man, who cannot be named, threatened the child’s foster mother with a knife during the night long ordeal which only ended when he fell asleep the next morning.

Justice Patrick McCarthy described the case as one of the most serious sexual offence cases that has come before him.

He said the incidents could only be described as “a night of horror” during which the man subjected his former partner and a teenage girl to “prolonged abuse of the vilest kind”.

The judge said he did not put significance on the fact the man had been drinking whiskey and taking cocaine and noted that he had been in “full command of his senses”.

He highlighted that the two victims had been coerced and subjected to repeated rapes and sexual assaults after the man had broken into his ex-partners home.

Victim impact statements

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to six counts of rape at a house in Co Limerick on the night of 10 September 2016.

Garda John Moriarty told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that the then 16-year-old victim did not submit a victim impact statement. He said the young woman was “getting on okay day to day” but has had great difficulties.

In a victim impact statement, read out by Greene, the man’s ex-partner described feeling to blame for what happened to the teenage victim but said she believed the man would have killed her had she spoken up while he held the knife to her throat.

“I hate him with a vengeance for what he did to us”, she said, adding that the man left her “shattered” physically and mentally.

Garda Moriarty agreed with Mark Nicholas SC, defending, that his client had been highly intoxicated on arrest and admitted that he had hurt his former partner physically and sexually.

The garda agreed that the man was tearful and upset during his interviews when details of what he did to the teenage girl were read to him.

Nicholas told Justice McCarthy that he was instructed to apologise to the injured parties.

Counsel said the man had taken a significant amount of cocaine and whiskey and said this suggested he was “outside of normal thinking” on the night.

He asked the judge to take into consideration his client’s guilty plea and previous good character. He asked the judge to be as lenient as he could.

Additional evidence

The court heard that the woman had been in a relationship with the man but it had ended a year earlier.

On the night in question, she had fallen asleep on her couch and was woken up with the man’s hand over her mouth while he pressed a kitchen knife into her neck.

He was standing over her and told her he had broken into the house. She went to scream and he told her to shut up or he was going to kill her.

He said he had been there for an hour sitting beside her. He asked her to undress and she said no and he slapped her on the face.

He then began undressing her, breaking her bra in the process, and stripping her naked. He hit her again and the woman believed her life was in imminent danger, the court heard.

The man climbed on top of her and tried to rape her but failed and then began masturbating himself and kissing her.

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The victim didn’t respond and he continued to strike her and remained armed with the knife. He then raped her while threatening to put the knife inside her. He then orally raped her before asking about who else was in the house.

The woman told him her foster child, who the man did not know, was asleep upstairs and he said he wanted “to do” her next.

He pulled the woman upstairs by the hair and neck and told her to get the child. The court heard the woman was trying to protect the girl and told the man she was 16 and was “only a child”. He threatened her with the knife and forced the woman to get the girl.

The two victims held on to one another while he marched them downstairs where he repeatedly raped them both.

Repeated rapes

In between the repeated rapes over the course of the night, he took breaks and was swigging whiskey from a bottle.

This ordeal lasted a number of hours during which the man refused to let the woman leave to use the bathroom, forcing her to relieve herself in the living room.

After several hours the woman asked if she could get dressed as she was cold and the man struck her in the face. He took her mobile from her and smashed it against the wall and took the memory card out.

The ordeal ended when he fell asleep and the victims grabbed some clothes and fled.

The older woman told the court that she lost half of her possessions because she couldn’t face going back to the house after the attack.

She said she had suffered from vertigo from the direct blow to her face, which was swollen and covered in bruises. She stated that she was unable to sleep or eat and dropped two stone weight.

About the author:

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Declan Brennan

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