herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Rapist returned to club after leaving victim (23) for dead lying in laneway

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A woman who was violently raped in a lane after leaving a nightclub will not now be able to give birth naturally, a court heard.

Brazilian rickshaw driver Rafael Tiso (31) has been jailed for 13 years for the shocking attack, which was described as like an "episode of a horror series".

Tiso was captured on CCTV leaving a nightclub with the intoxicated victim and walking with her down a side street before going into a lane with her. He left the lane 40 minutes later and returned to drink in the same bar.

A passer-by heard a moaning noise and discovered the woman lying on the ground between a truck and a car with her legs spread apart. The man believed the woman was dead at first as her eyes were closed and he did not want to touch her to contaminate the scene.

He saw blood on the ground beside her. The woman's clothing and hair were soaking wet.

Gardai were alerted and the woman was taken to hospital.

The 23-year-old victim, who cannot recall anything of the incident, suffered devastating injuries.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the damage caused to the victim was appalling. She has been advised that she should not give birth naturally in the future and she may also suffer complications at menopause.

Horror

In her victim impact statement, the woman described it as like being in "an episode of a horror series". She said she sometimes felt as if she was in a nightmare and tried not to think about what happened.

She said she would like to "delete that day" and described "a daily fight between going forward or making a martyr of myself".

Tiso, who was living in rented accommodation at Offaly Road, Cabra, Dublin, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, oral rape, aggravated sexual assault and assault causing harm to the woman at Montague Lane, Dublin, on January 18, 2016. He has no previous convictions and has been in custody since his arrest.

The judge said this was a violent and callous crime perpetrated on a vulnerable, inebriated young woman. She said the victim's restrained impact report showed how the attack would affect her for the rest of her life.

She suspended the final year of a 14-year sentence on condition that Tiso leave the country on his release for a period of 10 years.

Tiso, who was working as a rickshaw driver in the Harcourt Street area at the time of the attack, initially claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.

He told gardai in his final interview that he regretted taking advantage of her.

The judge noted that his expression of remorse was motivated to a degree by remorse for how these events were impacting on his life.

Medication

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, said Tiso came from a small town in Brazil where he worked hard in school before securing a job in a bank. He continued to study for a masters before coming to Ireland to study English.

She said Tiso had been on anti-anxiety medication and had been working long hours. A psychological report concluded he was at a moderate to low risk of re-offending and that he didn't have an inappropriate attitude towards women.

Letters from former girlfriends spoke of respectful and normal sexual relationships.

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