Convicted rapist told woman: I’m going to chop you up

A convicted rapist who told a woman he was going to take her up to the mountains and chop her up has been jailed for eight years.

Robert Melia, aged 48, has three previous convictions for violent sexual assaults on three separate victims in one month in October 1997. In July 1991, he received a six-year sentence for a rape committed in 1987.

Yesterday, Melia, of Shangan Gardens, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to charges of false imprisonment, assault causing harm, and making threats to kill at the Caulfields Hotel, Dorset St Lower, Dublin, on May 19, 2013.

Detective Garda Martin McInerney told the court that the victim was forced to jump out of the first-floor window of the hotel room because she believed he was going to kill her.

At one point, Melia took two shoe laces from his pocket and said he was going to use this and a neck tie he was wearing to tie the woman up.

Judge Martin Nolan suspended the last three years of a 10-year sentence on condition Melia be of good behaviour after his release.

He also jailed the father of four for one year for an offence of possessing stolen social welfare cheques at Cappagh Post Office, Finglas, on dates in January and February 2013, resulting in an effective eight-year sentence.

Judge Nolan said that Melia’s offences followed a pattern of previous behaviour in which he demonstrated extreme hostility and violence towards woman.

Det Garda McInerney told Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, that the victim was a vulnerable drug addict who had met Melia a few days earlier on a city centre street.

On the day of the attack, Melia rang the woman and invited her to come to his hotel room to take drugs.

He became angry and she tried to walk out. A struggle ensued and Melia began trying to strangle her.

She later told gardaí she could not breathe because of the pressure on her neck and was begging him to stop.

The woman ran for the door, but it was locked. Melia started strangling her again and told her: “I’m going to bring you up the mountains and I’m going to chop you up.”

Melia told her again she was going to die: “Get it into your head, you’re leaving, you’re going to die.”

Eventually, after kicking at the window, she managed to get out, fracturing her ankle in the process.

Patrick McGrath, defending, said his client had suffered violence during his teenage years and had difficulties with alcohol and substance abuse all his life.


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