A Wexford man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, with the final three suspended, for raping a Kildare woman while she slept.
Owen Power, 20, had met the then 19-year-old victim briefly for the first time that night while they were both out socialising in Wexford.
Power, of Michael J Synnott Drive, Castlebridge, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury last July of raping the woman in Wexford on Feb 5, 2012. He was registered a sex offender when evidence was heard last week.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said that Power had had “an extraordinarily level of alcohol in his system”.
“In my experience over more than 20 years, when a young man of previously good and exemplary character goes out and takes this level of alcohol, they may very well come to having perpetrated either a homicide or a rape, it being a lottery as to which,” said Mr Justice Carney.
He said the woman was “deprived of her security and sanctuary” somewhere she should have been entitled to it.
Mr Justice Carney took into account Power’s lack of previous convictions but said the level of alcohol he consumed was an aggravating factor. He ordered that Power undergo 18 months post-release supervision.
Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, said there had been no “romantic interaction” between the pair and both had been drinking heavily. They returned to the same house with mutual friends and the victim went straight to bed.
Garda Sean Twomey said Power was spotted going into the victim’s bedroom later that night and was told to get out by another party-goer.
The victim woke another girl up later to tell her she had been raped by Power. She called her father who turned up at the house and punched Power.
The victim was taken to the Garda station by her father. Power had arrived at the same station complaining he had been assaulted. He was heavily intoxicated but was “deemed fit for interview”.
He told gardaí that “the birds and the bees happened” between him and the victim after they had talked for about 10 minutes. He claimed sex had been consensual but could not recall the girl’s name.
The victim was not in court for the sentence hearing but her victim impact statement was read into the record. She stated she now needs her family to look after her on a day-to-day basis because she can not do anything for herself and does not like to be alone.
She said the rape had changed her life forever.
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