A man has been jailed for 10 years for threatening, assaulting, and raping his wife as their marriage was breaking down in 2014.
Sentencing the 42-year-old in Dublin Central Criminal Court yesterday, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the assaults were “cowardly” and “brutal”.
“The crime of rape is an attack upon the bodily and psychological integrity of a woman,” she said.
Ms Justice Kennedy said the attacks had taken place in the context of a marital breakdown but that this did not excuse or justify his conduct. “It was terrible for his wife,” she said. “She was in the impossible position in ensuring her son had access to his father while protecting herself against him.”
The 42-year-old man is only the third person to be convicted for marital rape since rape within a marriage was made illegal in 1990.
At the Central Criminal Court last month, a jury convicted him of raping his wife in their home in May 2014, and of threatening to cut her face. He was also convicted of threatening to kill the woman the next day over the phone.
He had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to cause serious harm to the woman and of assaulting her mother on August 7, 2014, during a hammer attack outside the mother’s Dublin home.
The judge imposed a sentence of 12 years for the count of rape but suspended the final two years. She imposed lesser sentences for the other counts, but ordered they run concurrently with the rape sentence.
Last week the woman read a victim impact report to the court saying the attacks will stay with her forever. “I knew that night there was nothing I could do to stop him,” she said.
“The rape left me with a complete sense of powerlessness, like everything of myself had been taken away from me.
“I felt so broken and, for a long time, angry with myself for what I saw as letting it happen.”
Referring to the hammer attack in August 2014, she said that before becoming unconscious, she feared she was going to be murdered in front of her son after seeing the “cold determination and focus” of her husband.
“I will never forget, before I went unconscious, looking down at the door of the room where (my son) was sleeping and thinking, ‘Whatever happens now, don’t come out, don’t see this,’” she said.
“I believed in that moment I was going to die. I know if it wasn’t for the actions of [a passer-by] I may not be alive.
“All my family will be forever grateful to him.”
Her husband had his barrister read a letter of apology to the court for the hammer attack but made no reference to the rape or other charges.
The man said he was “utterly reckless” and blamed the “alienation, humiliation, and emasculation” he said he suffered during the breakdown of their relationship.
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