A LITHUANIAN man who attempted to rape a Longford student on the shore of a Leitrim lake last year has been jailed for three years by the Central Criminal Court.
Tomas Urbonas, a 26-year-old father of one, with an address at Landmark Court, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim was convicted by a jury in July of the attempted rape and sexual assault of the 23-year-old woman on April 8, 2007.
Mr Justice Paul Butler directed that Urbonas’ name be added to the register of sexual offenders and said the victim should be proud of herself for reporting the matter. He said it was an “appalling assault and attempt at rape”, which had been halted by the actions of the victim.
The court heard that the woman had fought strenuously against Urbonas when he attacked her in a car.
Urbonas is the subject of a European arrest warrant for an alleged robbery in his home country. He will be extradited in relation to that at the end of his sentence here. He arrived in Ireland in 2005 and has four previous conviction in this country for public order offences, drunk driving and possession of a weapon.
Detective Garda Patrick Leonard told prosecuting counsel, Conor Devally SC, that the woman met Urbonas the day after spending the night with a friend of his. The court heard that the woman had consumed alcohol and half an ecstasy tablet the night before.
She intended to go home the next day when the man she had spent the night with and Urbonas cajoled her into getting into a car with them to go for a drink. Urbonas promised to drive her home later.
They picked up alcohol from an off-licence and went to a lake. The woman’s companion from the night before then left her in the back seat of the two-door car with Urbonas in the front. He got into the back seat and again tried to kiss her. She struggled strongly but he got her trousers half off and also partially undressed himself.
Mr Devally said the victim strongly defended herself, scratching the defendant and possibly biting his penis. He eventually sat back and she managed to get out of the car.
Urbonas then drove off but the other man returned and went with the woman to a Garda station.
In her victim impact statement the woman said she had been humiliated and violated. She said she was ashamed, particularly when her behaviour the night before the crime was exposed.
Mr Justice Butler said it was very important that people report sexual assaults and he appreciated it puts victims through “enormous difficulty”.
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