Rapist threatened to throw victim, 16, into river

A man who raped a 16-year-old girl and threatened to throw her in a river shortly after leaving his girlfriend’s house has been jailed for six years.

Peter Halligan, aged 23, covered his face and grabbed the girl from behind as she was making her way home from her friend’s house just before midnight. 

He was later arrested after a school friend saw him in the area. DNA found on the victim also matched Halligan.

During the attack, the girl tried to get him to stop by claiming she was just 14 years old. 

She also suggested to him that because he was under 21 he would not go to prison if he stopped now. Halligan responded that he was over 21 and continued the attack.

At first, the accused denied attacking the girl and suggested it could have been another man he saw in the area who he claimed was armed with a knife. 

He then claimed the girl had approached him on the street and asked for sex.

He said he initially lied to gardaí because he did not want his girlfriend to find out.

Mr Justice Paul Butler noted that Halligan has no previous convictions and has a 6-year-old son. 

He described him as “a good dad”, and as a man who paid his monthly maintenance, had a positive attitude, and had completed several courses in prison.

The judge said Halligan was thought unlikely to re-offend and suspended two years of an eight-year sentence, which he described as being ‘in the middle of the sentence scale’.

Halligan, of Kilcohan Park, Waterford, pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and oral rape at a riverbank in Waterford City on July 24, 2014. He was convicted by a jury on both counts after four hours deliberations.

The victim was not in court for the sentence hearing. Detective Garda Tom Manton said she was traumatised by the events and was still very upset.

A victim impact report she submitted to court stated the attack had impacted many aspects of her life including her relationships with family and friends.

She said she gets flashbacks and still feels she can not speak to her mother about the event for fear of upsetting her. 

She said she feels very vulnerable and intimidated when she is around men.

“I’m getting slowly better,” she added. 

“I hope to some day to become the person I once was.”

More on this topic

British Government wins bid for permanent ban on industrial action by prison officersBritish Government wins bid for permanent ban on industrial action by prison officers

NHS refusal to give boy 'life-changing' drug irrational and unlawful, court toldNHS refusal to give boy 'life-changing' drug irrational and unlawful, court told

Police helicopter 'used to film swingers in the throes of sexual passion'Police helicopter 'used to film swingers in the throes of sexual passion'

Teenager denies carrying out moped 'acid attacks'Teenager denies carrying out moped 'acid attacks'


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner