A Monaghan man who attacked and raped his long-term partner for no apparent reason has been sentenced to eight years.
The 34-year-old pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape between December 28 and 29, 2010 in the couple’s Monaghan home. He has six previous convictions for minor offences including burglary and assault.
Mr Justice Carney commented that although the man’s defence had called it an “inexplicable” assault, the court understood fully what had happened and had seen it before: “When heretofore decent people pass a threshold of alcohol consumption.”
However the judge added that the man’s drinking offered no defence or mitigation in law. He called it a “jumping out of the bushes type rape” and said there was “a credible threat to kill”
He suspended the final three years of the sentence after accepting that the man was remorseful for the attack. He also imposed an 18 month post release supervision order.
The court heard that the couple had been out socialising that night having left their young son with a babysitter.
The victim later told gardai that it had been a good night with “no cross words” and her partner had shown her how to play poker.
When they returned home he attacked her by pinning her to the ground, holding her by the throat and threatening to kill her before he raped and anally raped her.
Afterwards when the woman said she was going to contact the gardai, her partner replied: “Go ahead, you should look at what I have done to your face”.
He then remained in the house until the gardai arrived and told them to take him out of the house, repeating: “Look what I have done to her face”.
She was later examined in the hospital and found to have significant facial injuries as well as bruising on her breasts, arms, stomach, back and legs. She was in a distressed state when gardai arrived at the scene.
The now 41-year-old victim told gardai that the man had never been rough or violent towards her.
Paul Greene SC, defending said his client, who has written “a letter of remorse” to his former partner, has “no potential explanation for what occurred that night”.
The woman stated in her victim impact report that her partner had taken everything that had been good in their lives and turned it upside down.
She said Christmas had previously been a joyful time but that feeling has now gone.
“It is another thing he has taken away from us. I don’t think I will see Christmas in the same way again,” the woman said.
She said she has since tried to take her own life by overdosing and commented that she had “gone from being happy to being depressed, angry and upset”.
“I find it harder to forgive myself and stop beating myself up about it. I need to forgive and put all this in the past to allow for my recovery,” the woman continued.
The prosecuting garda told the court that both the woman and her attacker have since attended counselling sessions together because the garda said, “she needed answers to questions”.
The garda did not accept a suggestion from Mr Greene, that the couple have reconciled and re-kindled their relationship and said the victim strongly denies that they have had any sexual contact since the rape.
In cross-examination, the garda agreed with Mr Greene that it had been a “wholly unpremeditated and inexplicable rape” but that his client did have a difficulty with alcohol and “did not know his own limits”.
The garda further accepted that the man has since attended a 12 week residential programme to deal with his “alcohol dependency”.
He agreed with a suggestion from counsel that “the offence was rooted in alcohol and he has since taken significant steps in that regard”.