At the time of the attack, the 28-year-old man was serving the suspended portion of a four-year sentence for attempted armed robbery.
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault, attempted rape, threatening to kill, and false imprisonment of his sister at a location in Westmeath on June 16, 2014.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the case lay at the very top end of seriousness and that it stood just short of the worst conceivable case he had dealt with. He imposed a sentence of 12 years on the attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault offences. These will run consecutive to the lawful termination of the sentence imposed for the robbery.
In a victim impact statement read out in court on her behalf, the woman, who is in her 20s, said her brother had ruined her life and that she would never get over it and could not forgive him.
She said she became depressed after the attack, stopped eating, took an overdose, and wanted to die. The woman said she has lost contact with her children and she hates the person she has become.
“All I want to ask is why, why did you do it to me? You can come out of prison and start afresh. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. You took away everything and I hate you for that,” she wrote.
Counsel for the defence said that the man’s sister had been the only member of his large family who “cared for him in the most Christian way and offered him an olive branch” despite his long-term drink and drug addictions.
Garda Sergeant Raymond Lynch told the court that the victim had come to her elder brother’s home to get rid of whatever alcohol was in the house and help him clean up his mess. He threw her on the couch and threatened to stab her to death if she did not do what he wanted.
He held a piece of a broken plate to her neck and said he would cut out her vaginal area and “let her bleed to death” if she did not let him do what he wanted.
He sexually assaulted her by forcing his fingers into her back passage and vagina and also biting her vagina.
By using her phone behind his back the woman managed to dial 999 and the local garda station and screamed her whereabouts down the phone. When gardaí arrived they found her in an extremely distressed state and arrested her brother.
“I was severely fucked up in the head from days of drink and heroin-taking,” he told gardaí, adding that he had drunk up to 13 cans of beer and a bottle of red wine on the day, as well as smoking heroin.
The man has 21 previous convictions,including robbery and possession of articles.
Ken Fogarty SC, defending, said the man remains “haunted” by the shame and remorse he feels at having inflicted these terrible offences on his sister.