'He broke my heart, my spirit, my resolve' says woman after rapist jailed for 10 years

A Cork sex offender who raped his former partner has been jailed for 10 years.

The 30-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, will serve the 10-year sentence consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving for the rape of another woman.

The man was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last February of raping his former partner at their home on September 8, 2013. He had pleaded guilty to one count of orally raping her and to assault causing harm at the same address on July 10, 2013.

At the sentence hearing earlier this month, his former partner described how she spent the three years after the rape in fear of him until he was finally jailed for raping another woman.

Today Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted the profound effect the offences had on the woman. He imposed sentences totalling 10 years and ordered that they be served consecutive to the man's current jail term.

In a lengthy victim impact statement, which took over half an hour to read out, the woman catalogued the numerous ways the man tried to regain control over her after he was charged with raping her and before he was jailed for raping another woman.

The woman described finding the courage to leave the man a few weeks after he sexually assaulted her in their home in July 2013 and return to her parents' home.

“I remember thinking I was free,” she said. “That he couldn't hurt (me) anymore. How wrong I was.”

The court heard the man raped the woman when she returned to his house for a brief visit on September 9, 2013. He was arrested and charged in February 2014, before being released on bail.

The woman said in the intervening years before he was jailed, the man did everything in his power to get close to her without breaching the barring order she took against him. “He was calculated,” she said.

She described how he moved to an apartment and then got a new job around the corner from her when she changed jobs.

She described how she started avoiding the city except to attend weekly counselling. However, she said he somehow found out when she was in the city and crossed the bridge at the exact same time as her for six weeks in a row.

“As a result, I became a prisoner in my own home,” she said. She described how the city became a “maze filled with dark alleys and hidden corners where I feared he would be waiting for me”.

On one occasion, he called gardaí to her house after falsely reporting that a family member was in danger from her brother. For a lengthy period of time, the family home alarm was set off almost every night, she said. “My brother started to sleep with a bat under his bed, my father with golf clubs,” she said.

“I had never known anything but love, compassion, nurturing,” she said, adding before she met the man, she was the kind of person who “would hug a stranger in the street and admire beauty in everything I saw”.

“How totally naive I was.”

The woman said the last four years have been “terrifying” and “stressful”.

“I hold on to hope for my future. I know I have done the right thing. It was far from easy,” she said.

“I was attacked, raped, lied to and deceived by the man I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” she said. “He broke my heart, spirit, my resolve. My strength of character was abolished.”

She said she spent three years in a relationship with the man, “being controlled by him” and a further four years “fearing” him. “That's nearly a decade of my life I won't get back.”

Prosecution barrister, Thomas Creed SC, said the man has convictions for rape, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault of a woman. He has two previous convictions for breaching barring orders.

Ciaran O'Loughlin SC, defending, told the court the man had a difficult childhood, which was mostly spent in foster care. “He didn't have any childhood at all,” he said. He said the man accepted the verdict of the jury and has received counselling since being convicted.

He hopes to get treatment for sexual offending while in custody, the court heard.


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