A Dublin man who raped his nephew’s wife while she was sleeping beside her husband and toddler has been sentenced to eight years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended.
The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court following a four-day trial earlier in the month.
He had pleaded not guilty to raping the woman at a caravan park in Dublin on March 7, 2014.
Garda Jacinta Martin told Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, that the victim and her husband were asleep in their caravan along with their four children when the defendant came in at around 3am, intoxicated, and claimed he was looking for money for a taxi fare.
The victim was half asleep and on medication when she discovered a man was fondling her. Her baby was lying beside her. She assumed it was her husband wanting sex and she allowed herself to be on top of him.
She said the man had sex with her and straight afterwards she became confused as she realised there was another man in her bed.
She jumped off the defendant and woke her husband up. The defendant was trying to put his clothes back on when he said something to the woman and she recognised his voice as that of her husband’s uncle.
When she fully woke up the next morning, she realised what had happened and scrubbed herself before stripping the bedclothes and went to the Rape Crisis Centre. The defendant’s mobile phone was found in the bedroom.
During the trial, the defendant’s sister said he had called to her caravan “a bit worse for wear” from drink and said he was looking for money for a taxi fare. He said he was going to his nephew’s caravan and while there he took the opportunity to rape the woman, the court heard.
In a victim impact report, the woman said she “feels physically sick and traumatised” by the incident.
Garda Martin agreed with Damien Colgan, defending, that no threats were made on the night.
Mr Colgan said the 41-year-old married man, who has 21 previous convictions, had no great job prospects and suffers from conditions such as depression, anxiety, and lower back pain.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the man “
took advantage of an opportunity to rape a woman who was lying asleep while she was on medication”.
He ordered the man to stay away from the injured party and her family for five years post-release. He praised the injured party, saying that “she did the right thing by going to the gardaí”.
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