Clare man to be sentenced for rape of ex-girlfriend

A Clare resident will be sentenced tomorrow morning at the Central Criminal Court for raping his pregnant ex-girlfriend at gunpoint, threatening to kill her and breaking her front teeth at her home over two years ago.

A Clare resident will be sentenced tomorrow morning at the Central Criminal Court for raping his pregnant ex-girlfriend at gunpoint, threatening to kill her and breaking her front teeth at her home over two years ago.

The 44-year-old man, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was found guilty by a jury following a 14 day trial last January of rape, anal rape, false imprisonment, possessing a fire arm and threatening to kill the woman at her home on September 9, 2007.

He had pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman causing her harm on the same occasion.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said he considered the case at the “upper end of criminality” involving a “dangerous hostage seige averted by the extraordinary skill of the gardaí.”

The man’s father told defence counsel, Mr John Phelan SC, that his son’s on-off relationship with the complainant had affected his mental health and that his behaviour on the night was “absolutely abnormal”.

The father accepted his son had previous relationships with ladies suffering from bipolar disorder and said maybe women were his problem.

Mr Phelan read out a brief apology letter in court in which his client expressed his regret, “humbly and sincerely”, for the injuries and distress he inflicted on his then pregnant ex-partner.

Mr Phelan submitted to Mr Justice Carney that though his client didn’t accept the rape convictions, he was deeply remorseful for frightening “the great love of his life” with the shotgun.

Counsel further submitted that the man was “engaged in productive behaviour” in jail, was most repentant and accepted he must face the penalty for his actions.

The victim described the night as “mentally torturous” and said she had been made to believe that her death and the death of her unborn baby were imminent.

Her victim impact report outlined that she suffers panic attacks, is less trusting of people and found the court case very stressful.

She said the accused was controlling and did not like her getting on with her life. She described an “extreme fear” of the accused, feels he will resent her for giving evidence in court and is fearful about his eventual release.

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