By Declan Brennan
A man has received a partially suspended sentence of ten and a half years for a rape of his former partner. The sentence will run concurrently with a four-and-a-half-year sentence for a “savage” assault on the same woman.
Christopher Mulready (aged 33) began attacking the woman while she was sleeping on a couch in her flat. She awoke to him punching her in the face and body.
He also attacked her with a broom handle. The attack left the woman with a fractured eye socket and cheek bone. The next morning Mulready raped the victim.
The woman, now aged 29, told the Central Criminal Court that she still suffers from horrible flashbacks of the assaults. Tara Burns SC, prosecuting, told the court the woman was waiving her right to anonymity.
Mulready, formerly of O'Brien St, Tipperary town, had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the woman at O'Brien St., on the night of April 28, 2016. He had denied a charge of rape at the same place on April 29, 2016.
A jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on this rape charge after a trial.
Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said the attack was a cowardly and despicable one and a “savage beating”. He said that photographs of the victim's bruising around the neck, arms and legs made for horrific viewing.
He said that Mulready had shown no remorse and seemed to smirk his way through the trial.
He suspended the last nine months of a ten and a half year prison term. The sentence is backdated to April 2016, when Mulready went into custody for the attacks.
The judge also ordered that Mulready have no contact with the victim by any means and declared him a sex offender.
Mulready's 33 previous convictions include burglary and theft, all dealt with in the District Court.
Ciaran O'Loughlin SC, defending, said that Mulready and the victim had been in a relationship for four years and had some children together. He said Mulready accepted the first assault was vicious and that he was now remorseful.
He said the relationship was marked by alcohol abuse on both sides. He said it was a deeply loving relationship but with stormy moments.
Reading from her own victim impact statement the woman told the court that she turned to drugs and alcohol after the attacks. She said the assaults affected her self esteem and self confidence.
She said she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder since the attack, as well as depression and anxiety.
She said she still suffered from pain and headaches and lived in fear of meeting Mulready again. She has since gone into treatment for substance abuse and has begun to repair relationships with her family.
During the assault Mulready dragged the victim by her hair. He dragged her off the couch and into the bedroom where he continued punching her.
He also began strangling her and told her he was going to break her windpipe. He told her she deserved this for getting him arrested by gardaí.
When the woman began to cry Mulready stopped the attack. He stayed in the house and the next morning he got into her bed and asked her for sex.
The woman said no and Mulready asked her why not. She told him it was because of what he had done the night before.
He began to take her clothes off and told her “please let me have sex, you know how horny I get when I've had drink”. She brought her knees up to stop him but he raped her.
The woman turned her head away and began crying and Mulready ended the attack. He left soon after and she called gardaí.
Mr O'Loughlin said his client believed the victim was agreeing to sex and he stopped when her crying made it clear she wasn't. He said the case was one of recklessness with regard to the woman's consent.
Mr Justice Moriarty commended the courage of the victim in giving her evidence during the trial. He also praised the professionalism of the investigating gardaí.
He noted that Mulready is on an enhanced privilege regime in the Midlands Prison, where he works as a cleaner. Mulready has also taken part in an emotional regulation group.