Man jailed for 10 years for raping 14-year-old girl

A Westmeath man has been jailed for ten years for raping a 14-year-old girl in a field as she walked to her friend's house.

Martin Stokes, aged 24, was convicted on Tuesday.

During his 17 day trial Stokes called the girl a liar and claimed that she was an enthusiastic consenting party.

Pic: Joshua St John

Stokes was linked to the crime through his DNA and about ten witnesses who saw him in the area at the time.

He initially denied even knowing the girl but when the case came to trial for a second time he claimed that he had consensual sex with her.

In his last case before retirement, Mr Justice Carroll Moran, said that in his 18 years on the bench he had never seen such "obvious mendacity."

In her victim impact statement, which she read to the court herself, the girl said she suffered "a horrific sexual attack".

She said she now suffers from panic attacks, anxiety and depression and said her teenage years had been taken from her and that she and her family had to move towns because of the rape.

Mr Justice Moran imposed a 12 year sentence with the final two years suspended on strict conditions.

He ordered that Stokes has no contact with the victim or her family including by social media and that he registers his address with gardaí on his release.

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