A man convicted of taking part in the gang rape of a woman he met at a nightclub has been jailed for four years.
Darren Thompson, 23, and two other men raped the woman after she came back to a house with them, telling her: “It’s your birthday surprise.”
Thompson, of Belcare Park, Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to rape at a house in Dublin in May 2014. He was convicted by a jury last month.
The woman, who is in her 20s, was celebrating her birthday with two friends. She had taken cocaine, alcohol, and ecstasy in the club when she met a man there.
They kissed and she agreed to go to a house with him. She got a taxi with the man and two men, including Thompson, and they went back to the house of one of those men.
She had consensual sex with the first man in a bedroom of that house but then two men, including Thompson, appeared and began trying to have sex with her.
She told them to stop but she felt someone inside her while another man had his hands on her breasts. This happened three times.
“I asked them to stop and I got told it was my birthday surprise,” she said.
The other men who were present on the night were arrested the next day and questioned by gardaí but nobody else was charged. Thompson admitted having sex but told gardaí the woman had consented to him “joining in”.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said that the attack left her emotionally scarred, saying: “This is something I will never ever get out of my head.”
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said that the rape was not premeditated and this lessened the moral culpability to a degree.
She said the aggravating factors were the fact that there were multiple participants and the advantage Thompson that took of the victim’s vulnerability.
She said the appropriate headline sentence was eight years but taking the mitigating factors into consideration she reduced that that to six years. She suspended the last two years to allow for the “very realistic prospect” of rehabilitation.
Ms Justice Kennedy had noted the defence submissions that Thompson was previously a “peaceful law-abiding diligent young man”. The court heard that his admissions to gardaí about having sex with the complainant were significant as there was no DNA or other scientific support for that allegation. Thompson told gardaí that when the woman came back to the house there was a conversation about a “threesome”. He said she told him it was okay for him to “join in”.
Conor Devally, defending, had also asked the court to consider the delay in the prosecution of the case, during which Thompson had “proceeded positively with his life”.
“This was something of an appalling aberration,” counsel said, adding Thompson has an impressive work history and was not someone who abuses alcohol, drugs, or people.
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