A Cork man who raped his neighbour after she asked him to leave her house has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
The man (36), who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape in the victim's home on April 17, 2017.
He was convicted by a jury of the sole count on rape after a trial in May of this year.
Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the victim's hospitality was abused and that while the man claimed he perceived that the two were in a relationship, he did not think there was an objective basis for entertaining such a notion.
Mr Justice Hunt said the case was aggravated by the rape being perpetrated in the victim's home and the fact that it involved a degree of force that went beyond even that which would be required to engage in a non-consensual activity.
He sentenced the man to eight-and-a-half years' imprisonment but suspended the final 12 months on strict conditions including that the man follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months post-release.
Garda Tracy Gleeson told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, that the victim considered the man a friend and that he was a regular visitor to her house.
Gda Gleeson said the man arrived at the house with his nephew who was given sweets. Much later he returned to her house on his own with alcohol for the victim, which he did not drink himself, and stayed in the house until the early hours of the morning.
The victim asked him to leave the house as she wanted to go to bed, but instead, he followed her into her bedroom, pushed her onto the bed and raped her. She called gardaí who arrived at the house to find her in a distressed state with noticeable marks and bruises on her neck, arms and legs.
When questioned by gardaí, the man acknowledged that sex had taken place but claimed it was consensual. He further claimed that he was in a relationship with the victim, which she denied.
In a victim impact statement, which was read out in court, the woman said that the rape had changed her life and that she now could not go outside without looking over her shoulder.
The woman said she could not get rid of the smell he had and that it kept coming back to her. She said that she was never scared of anything before, but now she is.
The accused has 43 previous convictions, including convictions for assaulting a garda, theft, public order offences and road traffic offences.
Gda Gleeson agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that his client had not attempted to make contact with the victim since being told not to do so by gardaí. She agreed the man seemed to have given up drinking a few years previous after he assaulted a garda.
Mr Monroe said his client ended up in a psychiatric hospital after being accused of the rape and that he had lost the support of his family. He said that every moment he spends in custody would be a significant hardship on him.
Mr Justice Hunt replied that he thought it was intended to be.