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Travelling salesman jailed for five years for raping woman while serving suspended sentence

The man denied the offence but was convicted following a trial last July.

Image: Shutterstock/sergign

A TRAVELLING SALESMAN from Co Wexford who was serving a suspended sentence for sexual assault when he raped a woman has been jailed for five years.

The 53-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, denied the offence but was convicted following a trial at the Central Criminal Court last July. A jury found him guilty by majority verdict of raping a 24-year-old mother-of-one at a place in Co Cork on August 2, 2015.

In April 2014, just over a year earlier, the man received a two-year suspended sentence at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in August 2011.

Passing sentence on Friday, Mr Justice Paul McDermott condemned the man’s “opportunistic rape” of his employee in what he said was a serious breach of trust.

Victim impact statement

The judge noted the devastating effects of the rape on the young woman’s personal relationships and mental and physical well-being, as outlined in her victim impact report.

“She’s doing her best to live as normal a life as possible, but she lives with the consequences of this in her daily life,” said the judge.

Mr Justice McDermott set a headline sentence of six years but reduced it to five years, noting that imprisonment of the accused would cause hardship to people he supported, including his ageing mother.

He said an aggravating factor was that because the man maintains his innocence and has expressed no remorse, there is no context for rehabilitation to occur.

On completion of his sentence, the man was ordered to undergo two years of Probation Services supervision during which he must access counselling for alcohol and sexual offending and not contact the victim directly or indirectly, through social media or any other way.

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The sentence was backdated to 19 July when the man was taken into custody.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said her life would never be the same again. She said although she knows it wasn’t her fault, she asked herself if she could have done anything differently.

“I am in a wonderful relationship now, but if my partner rolls over in bed I am startled,” she said.

She described how she frequently looks over her shoulder and cries uncontrollably but said she is determined to keep moving forward and not allow the man ruin her life.

About the author:

Sarah-Jane Murphy and Jessica Magee

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