13 years for attack like ‘rape with machete’

A convicted killer and registered sex offender whose sexual assault of his former partner was likened to a rape with a machete has been jailed for 13 years.

Walter Morrissey, aged 70, of Upper Bridge St, Callan, Co Kilkenny, was found guilty of leaving his former partner with life-threatening injuries after an aggravated sexual assault at his home.

The Central Criminal Court heard medical evidence that Morrissey had used his fist to tear a 6cm rip in the woman’s vagina. When she was brought to hospital, a doctor remarked that he did not know how she was still alive.

Gynaecologist Ray O’Sullivan said it was an injury more likely to be seen in women raped with machetes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Justice George Birmingham called Morrissey a cunning, devious, and manipulative man who represents a significant threat to public. He said he was particularly concerned by his previous conviction for a double manslaughter and his conviction for seven counts of indecent assault of a woman.

Detective Garda Frank McKenna told Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, that the indecent assaults in 1999 were of a similar nature to this assault and involved penetration of the vagina with fists or an object.

Morrissey had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault and intentionally or recklessly causing the woman serious harm in a Kilkenny town on dates between Dec 1 and Dec 8, 2011.

Mr Heneghan told the court that the victim has no objection to Morrissey being publicly named.

Morrissey had previously fired his legal team. Yesterday, he made his own brief plea of mitigation before sentencing in which he said he was trained in IUI (intrauterine insemination).

He also said he was very pleased that the victim was healthy and that he tried to help her in every way. He smiled and waved at reporters as prison officers led him from the court room.

The victim spent four months in hospital recovering from her injuries.

She told the trial that the accused offered her €10,000 to have a child for him. “He said I could have a child for him and go away,” she said.

The victim told a doctor she was regularly sexually assaulted with fists and plastic objects.

The trial heard graphic medical evidence in relation to the life-threatening injuries sustained by the victim.

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