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Victim devastated as man who raped her when she was 14 ‘walks free’

A man was a given a suspended sentence last week after being found guilty of raping his wife’s sister when she was 14.

The Courts of Criminal Justice in Dublin
The Courts of Criminal Justice in Dublin
Image: File photo

A WOMAN WHO was raped by her sister’s husband when she was a 14-year-old has been left ‘devastated’ after the man convicted of raping her was given a suspended sentence last week.

The chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, said this morning that she wanted the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence handed down at the Central Criminal Court last Friday.

In his sentencing, Justice Garret Sheehan alluded to the exceptional circumstances of the man in question who has two autistic children requiring 24 hour care.

Dunlop said the victim had contacted her to express her devastation at the sentencing.

She told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland: “She wanted me to know and she wanted me to comment – if I was invited to comment publicly – that she was devastated by the judgement.”

This was in sharp contrast to the victim’s emotions in February when the man was found guilty, O’Malley Dunlop said.

She added that the sentence had sent a “very bad message” and the victim could not understand how a man who had raped over a period of months could be described as “self-rehabilitated”.

“She was absolutely devastated when she heard that this man walked free having been found guilty of raping her when she was a 14-year-old,” O’Malley Dunlop said.

She added that “there are many men and women in prison today who have children who need their mothers and fathers” but she had not heard that used as a mitigating factor before the courts.

The victim’s life had been “ruined” by the experience, she added.

You can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on  1800 77 88 88

Read: Campaign to help sex abuse survivors launched

Read: Rise in number of homicides and sexual offences in 2012

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Hugh O'Connell

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