Man fails in appeal against sentence for attempted rape

A Donegal man has failed in his appeal against his six-year prison sentence for climbing up a drainpipe and attempting to rape a mother-of-two as she slept in her bedroom.

Raymond Gormley (aged 29) was jailed for six years by Mr Justice Paul Carney in November 2007, after a Central Criminal Court jury found him not guilty of anal rape but guilty of attempted anal rape following a seven-day trial.

The former factory worker, with an address at Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, had pleaded not guilty to the anal rape of the victim on April 24, 2005.

The Court of Criminal Appeal today dismissed his application for appeal, having found there was no error in principle in the imposition of a six-year sentence for what it deemed a “bizarre” and “horrifying” incident.

Counsel for the applicant, Mr Brendan Grehan SC, told the court that Mr Justice Carney had been “overwhelmed” by the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal in the Adam Keane case and had failed to make a proper assessment of the individual merits of the case before him.

He said the CCA judgement in the Keane case indicated that there must be a substantial and immediate prison sentence where the offence has had a severe impact on the complainant - such as the victim being forced to move house - which was in contrast to the circumstances of this case.

Mr Grehan said that a sentence of six years was excessive as Gormley was not convicted of the offence of anal rape but rather was found guilty of attempted anal rape, which was an alternative open to the jury.

He told the court that the case was not characterised by gratuitous violence or by coercive threats, and that the applicant had desisted once the victim unambiguously called on him to stop.

Mr Grehan said the trial judge failed to give sufficient regard to Gormley’s expression of remorse, as he had apologised to the victim while he was in her bedroom and had expressed his remorse to gardaí in interview.

Counsel for the State, Mr John Aylmer SC, told the court that it was clear from the evidence that the applicant had continued to molest the victim after she had told him to stop.

He said that Gormley had at all times denied committing attempted anal rape and had never expressed remorse for the offence of which he was convicted.

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