A young man who raped his girlfriend in her bed four years ago has been sentenced to four years in prison.
The then 22-year-old victim told gardaí that she woke up in her bed and found that the then 25-year-old had raped her. The man had come to her home the night before and got drunk before following her to her bedroom after going to bed.
Last July, he pleaded guilty to being raped in a location in Dublin city on March 1, 2017. Lawyers for the man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s anonymity, told the Central Criminal Court that his admission of guilt was based on recklessness whether the woman agreed or not.
Garda James Wall informed the court that the applicant and the defendant had known each other since they were young and that they called her home with another man on the night in question and stayed until the early hours of the morning.
After the second man left, the woman agreed with the defendant that he could sleep on the sofa downstairs. Then she went upstairs to her own bed and he texted her “I’ll come up, nothing will happen, I swear on my way”.
The woman replied with his name and a question mark. The defendant came into her bedroom and started kissing the woman and taking off her top.
She later told gardaí that because of his strength and “what he might do” she was afraid to tell him to stop. He tried to get inside her, but she protested and he stopped, hearing the court.
The victim later woke up in her bed and found himself naked and the defendant pushed in and out of her. She was shocked and the defendant asked her if she wanted him to stop.
The court heard that the applicant did not consent to the sex and only “participated” when “he did not stop molesting her”.
The man texted her the next day and said, “Can we attribute last night to alcohol and that I am an absolute idiot” and “I’m so sorry”. He also said “maybe a little more sober next time” and she replied, “That will never happen; I said no, I said no and when I woke up I found you above me. “
She added that she “probably couldn’t count the number of times I said no last night” and he replied, “I’m really sorry”.
Judge Paul McDermott admitted that the rape motion was accepted by the state on the basis of the man’s ruthlessness, but said the defendant “may not agree”.
The judge said the man “did not have the same moral guilt as someone who knew for sure that a person would not consent” but that there was a “significant risk of lack of consent” and that the accused would have their rights as such and “body integrity”.
Justice McDermott said the woman’s life was deeply affected by the rape and she has since been prescribed drugs for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She said the suggestion that she consented to have sex with the man “made her physically ill.”
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He noted that the woman was “saddened by the testimony process and the Garda investigation” and has since engaged in counseling and therapy.
Mr Justice McDermott took into account the fact that the defendant raped the woman while staying at her home and, as such, violated that home and her sense of security in it. This was a breach of trust, he said.
He admitted the admission of guilt, an expression of genuine remorse, the lack of relevant criminal records, a good professional background and the fact that the man was taking medication for depression and anxiety.
Justice McDermott sentenced the man to four and a half years, with the last six months being suspended for two years under severe conditions, including serving with the probation service for that time.