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Courts

'Sick monster' who raped partner and her son to serve full 12 years after appeal rejected

The 58-year-old Cork man was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in March 2022.

A “SICK MONSTER” who raped and sexually assaulted his then partner and her son will serve the full sentence of 12 years in prison after being refused an appeal against his conviction.

At the Court of Appeal today, Mr Justice John Edwards said the court was rejecting all of the 58-year-old Cork man’s existing grounds of appeal and had no concerns about any denial of justice by refusing proposed additional grounds of appeal submitted by the man’s defence.

The appellant, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of his victims, was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in March 2022 of 61 counts, including two counts of raping his then partner and 52 counts of sexually assaulting her.

The man, described as a “sick monster” at his trial, was also found guilty of four counts of sexually assaulting her son and one count of raping the boy, who was aged between nine and 11 at the time. The man was also convicted of two charges of cruelty to his ex-partner’s children. The offending took place between October 2013 and December 2015.

He had pleaded not guilty to all charges and had no previous convictions. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and ordered to undergo 12 months of post-release supervision.

The man subsequently launched an appeal against this conviction in August 2022, submitting that the trial judge had erred by admitting into evidence a photograph showing injuries sustained by the woman, by refusing an application to discharge the jury following evidence given by a prosecution witness, and by permitting the prosecution to reexamine one of their witnesses.

He also sought to bring additional grounds of appeal in March of this year submitting that the trial judge also fell into error when charging the jury.

Concerning the first ground of appeal, Mr Justice Edwards said that the court was satisfied that the photographic evidence was properly admitted. This evidence related to two photographs purporting to show bruising on the woman’s arms which was sustained in the course of her being raped by the appellant.

Mr Justice Edwards said that if somebody is in a position to say that they took the photograph and somebody else is in a position to say that they were the subject matter of the photograph, “then in our view that was sufficient proof of provenance and authenticity”.

The next ground of appeal concerned evidence given by a woman who said the man’s partner had told her she was being sexually abused by the appellant. During this woman’s evidence at trial, the witness went beyond what she had said in her garda statement by telling the jury that she saw the victim with a black eye, which the injured party said had been caused by her partner.

Mr Justice Edwards said that the trial judge refused an application by the defence counsel to discharge the jury on the grounds that the defence had been given no notice of this evidence. He said that while it was unfortunate that inadmissible evidence was given before the jury, the trial judge was right not to discharge the jury in this instance.

He said the trial judge had informed the jury to disregard this evidence and had repeated this again during his charge to them, so there was no reason to believe that the jury would not have followed that instruction.

Concerning the third ground of appeal, Mr Justice Edwards said the court was satisfied that it was appropriate for the trial judge to permit the reexamination of one of the complainants arising out of answers they gave during cross-examination.

He said the questions put to the complainant had been designed to impugn the credibility of the witness, so reexamination made it possible to rehabilitate the credibility of this witness.

“It would have been unfair to the complainant and the people of Ireland not to have allowed the complainant to elaborate further on what he had already stated,” said Mr Justice Edwards.

The judge went on to say that the court was refusing the motion to bring additional grounds of appeal, which were submissions that the trial judge gave an inadequate corroboration warning to the jury about photographic evidence in the case, and that he failed to explain the purpose for which certain evidence was admissible.

Mr Justice Edwards said that these complaints were not raised during the trial.

“We have no concerns about a fundamental denial of justice if we refuse to allow the proposed additional ground of appeal,” said Mr Justice Edwards in relation to the two proposed grounds of appeal.

“Having seen fit to refuse the motion to add additional grounds, and to reject all of the appellant’s existing grounds of appeal, the appeal is dismissed,” he said.

During the original trial, the woman made a victim impact statement saying she had been a “strong and independent” woman before meeting the man, but he had taken this away.

She said she had done her best to protect her children, but this was impossible as the defendant, whom she described as a “sick monster”, was always in control.

The defendant raped his then partner around Halloween 2013 and on a date between September and December 2015. He also sexually assaulted her on a weekly basis during 2015.

The court had previously heard evidence that the defendant raped the woman’s son and sexually assaulted him.

On one occasion, the boy woke to find the man on top of him.

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