Hatchet-wielding rapist jailed for seven years

A man who raped his victim for five hours after breaking into her house armed with a hatchet has been jailed for seven years at the Central Criminal Court.

The Cork man forced his way into the home of his ex-girlfriend and threatened to kill her by driving them both into the sea. He also cut her off her hair with a scissors because she was not performing sexual acts to his liking.

At a sentencing hearing, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan was told the case is deemed by the DPP to “be at the higher end of the scale”.

Mr Justice Sheehan imposed a 10-year term and suspended the final three years on condition the rapist engages in the Building Better Lives programme for sex offenders while in jail.

The 53-year-old had initially denied the attack but later pleaded guilty to rape at the woman’s Cork home in the early hours of Aug 9, 2012.

The plea was accepted by the prosecution on the basis of full facts being heard about the other offences.

The court heard the man had been in a relationship with the woman, a mother of two, but that she broke up with him as he was too possessive. She tried to cut all contact with him and refused to answer his calls.

A local sergeant told Patrick Marrinan, prosecuting, that, several weeks after the break-up, the woman was in bed when, at about 2.30am, she heard the sound of glass smashing and footsteps on the stairs.

The man had found a hatchet in the garden and used it to break the patio door window. He was also armed with a knife that he had taken from his home.

He entered her bedroom and was loud, aggressive, and drunk. He shouted at her: “You wouldn’t talk to me so I’ve come to talk to you.”

He slapped her face several times before making her take off her clothes. He then made her put on some underwear he took from her drawer. At this point, the woman saw the knife on the ground and kicked it under the bed.

The attacker got on the bed and tore off her clothes before beginning to sexually assault her. The man became frustrated because he could not get an erection and started slapping the woman again and telling her to stop crying.

Over the next five hours, he raped her multiple times vaginally, anally, and orally.

At one stage, he made her perform oral sex, during which he told her she was not doing it right.

He took a scissors and began to cut off her hair, telling her he would keep cutting until she did it correctly.

After several hours, he began to sober up and threatened to kill the woman.

“I know I’m going to do time for this, I have nothing else to lose,” he told her. “I might as well kill myself and you.”

If I can’t have you, no one will. Let’s go for a spin and we can drive off the pier.”

At about 7.30am, she made him a cup of tea to calm him down and he began sweeping up the glass in the kitchen. He then left and the woman called the gardaí. Later that day, officers found him at his home. He told them he was planning to come down to them.

The woman was taken for treatment. In a brief victim impact report, she outlined the effect the attack had on her and said she could not leave the house for five weeks. She has since moved away because of the incident.

Blaise O’Carroll, defending, said his client wants to apologise to the victim but is too shy to do it himself.

Counsel said the man was “very much in love” with the woman and they had great times together. He said he was “absolutely shattered and destroyed when the relationship ended”.


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