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Rape Trial

Laois man jailed for nine years for raping and assaulting former partner during 10-hour ordeal

The perpetrator falsely detained the woman in an apartment, and raped and assaulted her before letting her go.

A MAN WHO raped his former partner during a 10-hour ordeal in which he also assaulted her has been jailed for nine years.

The 48- year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of rape at his home in Laois on August 7, 2018.

The jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict following a trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Tullamore in February.

He previously pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman causing her harm and was convicted by a jury of false imprisonment of the woman on the same occasion during a trial in 2022.

He was handed a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence with the final year suspended in relation to these offences.

A local garda told Gerard Clarke SC, prosecuting, that the accused and complainant had been in an on/off relationship for a number of years and had gone back to his house that night after socialising.

The man became agitated after seeing a text message on the woman’s phone in which she commiserated with a former boyfriend on the death of his mother.

The defendant assaulted the woman and detained her in the apartment against her wishes. In the early hours, she awoke to find the man having sex with her.

The court heard the entire ordeal lasted around 10 hours. The man allowed the complainant to leave the apartment around 10am without her phone, bag or money.

She decided to walk home and was later found lying in a field by a farmer. She subsequently made a complaint to gardai.

The defendant was arrested and made two statements to gardai, but did not admit the rape. Video clips taken by the man on his phone in the early hours of the morning show the complainant in a distressed state.

He has a number of previous convictions, including for assault.

The complainant’s victim impact statement was read to the court by Mr Clarke. She said she had been “physically and emotionally assaulted” on the night. It was a “nightmare I would not wish on anyone”.

She said she could not leave the house in the weeks following the incident due to fear and suffered with panic attacks.

Defence counsel said his client respects the jury’s verdict, but does not agree with it. He has a long work history.

Mr Justice David Keane wished the woman well and commended her for “the quiet dignity” she displayed throughout the entire process.

He said the aggravating factors in the case were “the protracted and terrifying ordeal” the woman suffered and “her callous abandonment” by the man. He said taking these factors into account, the offence fell into the more serious category of rape and warranted a headline sentence of 10 years.

Mr Justice Keane said that because the man continues to deny the offence, he has not demonstrated any remorse nor has he made any attempts to make amends or undergo any rehabilitation. He took into account the man’s previous convictions that include assault and public order offences.

He gave the man “some credit” for his co-operation with the garda investigation and compliance with his bail conditions before he sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Mr Justice Keane also ordered that the man undergo two years post-release supervision upon his ultimate release from prison. He said during those two years the man must engage with the Probation Service and undertake any offence focused work recommended by them, including sex offender treatment programmes.

Eimear Dodd and Sonya McLean