herald

Tuesday 27 June 2017

'Scumbag' rapist was on bail for 7 offences at time of hotel attack

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

A man with 103 convictions was on bail for seven offences when he raped a woman in a Dublin hotel room, a court has heard.

John Gavin (29) was jailed for six years yesterday for raping the woman in Handel's Hotel on Fishamble Street in 2012.

The woman had helped him get a room in the hotel by saying she was staying there too after staff initially refused to give Gavin a room.

The court heard Gavin later denied rape. He told gardai that the victim was a "lying b*****d" and a "dirty mare", and said she had "jumped" on him.

Gavin, of Belcamp Halting Site, Coolock, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the rape.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey imposed a six-year sentence, which was backdated to July 2016, when Gavin went into custody on this offence.

He also ordered that Gavin be registered as a sex offender.

Gavin has previous convictions for violent disorder, possession of drugs, criminal damage and other offences. He was on bail for seven separate charges at the time of the rape.

Pauline Walley, prosecuting, told the court that the victim got chatting to Gavin at a city centre venue.

They spent the day drinking and taking drugs before the victim left to go home at around midnight.

She became aware Gavin was having trouble getting a hotel room and agreed to help as it was on her way home.

They went to Jurys Inn but were refused and directed to Handel's.

The court heard she kissed Gavin in the lobby of Jurys and had kissed him earlier.

Pleaded

She did this because she wanted to show she had no problem with Travellers.

Gavin was given a room in Handel's and the woman went up with him.

In the room she saw Gavin take off his trousers and went to leave but he jumped on her.

He raped the woman as she pleaded with him to stop. He made so much noise that the residents in the next room made a complaint. The woman then left the hotel crying and told the receptionist there was a "scumbag" up in the room.

Gardai were alerted and went to the hotel the next morning. Gavin was gone and the room was trashed. He was arrested a short time later.

The victim wrote in an impact report that she did not think she would ever move on.

"I still worry he will attack or rape me again because I reported it to the guards," she wrote. "He has ruined my life and changed me from the happy person I once was."

Gavin wept as defence counsel Fearghal Kavanagh told the court he was barely able to read or write.

Mr Kavanagh also pointed to a report that found that his risk of sexual re-offending was low.

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