A young woman has described how she was violated and treated like a rag doll when a fellow party-goer raped her while she lay comatose on a bed.
“I was an easy target, vulnerable, unconscious. A random girl ripe for the picking. Too good an opportunity to pass up,” the now 21-year-old college student's victim impact report stated.
It was read out at the Central Criminal Court during the sentence hearing of Diarmuid Manning (21) who was today jailed for four and half years after he admitted raping the woman at a house party in Cork.
“I'm terribly sorry for you and me that the night ended that way,” the woman stated. “Actions have consequences..... no woman deserves to be treated like that, used like a rag doll. I can't understand what was going through your mind.”
Manning was caught raping the woman after her friend's came to check on her. They had earlier put the woman to bed when she became so intoxicated.
Local gardaí who arrived on the scene after the rape was reported couldn't rouse the victim and called an ambulance so she could receive treatment in hospital.
The victim's mother told her she had been raped when she woke from a coma the following day. Her father had given consent for her to be examined at the sexual assault treatment unit in Cork University Hospital.
Manning of Stuake, Donoughmore, Cork pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and oral rape of the then 19-year-old woman on June 24, 2014. They were not known to each other previously, nor did they become acquainted during the party.
A local man, a primary school teacher, told Tom Creed SC, defending, that Manning was someone who contributed to his local GAA team and parish life. He described him as being extremely co-operative and very helpful and having come from a very good family.
Manning took the stand to read out his own statement of apology saying he deeply regretted what happened. “I unfortunately overdone it on the drink which has led us to this day.”
Manning said he hoped the woman had not been “permanently damaged” and said he hoped and prayed that she would make a full recovery and at some point “find it in your heart to forgive me”.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy remanded Manning, a business studies student, in custody last week having heard the evidence. He said the woman's victim impact report was “impressive” and added that “it was plain she was not a vindictive person but rather wanted to see justice take it course”.
He said the victim had thought “long and hard” about whether or not to proceed with a prosecution. Mr Justice McCarthy said he was struck by her “humanity” and said she had shown compassion towards her attacker.
He said Manning had taken advantage of her in “an extremely serious way” and noted that she had probably felt safe in a social situation with many people she knew there.
Mr Creed told Mr Justice McCarthy that the crime was “a huge blight” on both his client's and the woman's lives. He said testimonials before the court described Manning as a hard-working and pleasant young man.
An investigating garda told Tim O'Leary SC, prosecuting, that the woman was currently doing final year exams and wasn't in court for the hearing. He read her victim impact report into the record.
She said she arrived at the party late and drank too quickly. “I should have known better. My friends put me to bed, unconscious and unresponsive.”
“They later happened upon something they should not have seen, something no one deserves to see,” she continued.
“You did that horrible act to me” the woman said addressing Manning directly before she added that she considered herself lucky in many ways that “I won't have these horrible memories to haunt me....at least I don't remember.”
“I do feel though. I feel violated, used, dirty and damaged,” she said adding that it was her first sexual experience and she now felt no one would want to be in a relationship with her. “Who wants something broken?..Now I am the girl who was raped. My confidence remains at rock bottom.”
She said she considered herself compassionate and merciful. “You ruined my life and now I am involved in a decision that could ruin yours,” the woman stated.
In her statement to gardaí she said she had no recollection of anything after being in a hot tub and her friends putting her to bed in her bikini when they were unable to find her clothes.
Manning was arrested shortly afterwards and maintained that he and the woman engaged in conservation before he had consensual sex with her.
He was interviewed again the following October during which he accepted her friend's version of events. He said he knew she was not conscious.
Manning said he had initially lied because he had hoped he could get away it. The investigating garda told Mr O'Leary he seemed to have a problem accepting that he was that bad a person.