Man jailed for raping sister of his partner
A WATERFORD man has been given a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of his partner's younger sister.
The 20-year-old was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in April following a four day trial of the rape of the then 16-year-old girl in the county on May 20, 2012.
He was 18 at the time of the offence and has no previous convictions.
Mr Justice Barry White noted that the jury had sought clarification during their deliberations on the issue of recklessness. He said the fact drink had been taken was not an excuse but may be an explanation as to why the offence occurred.
He said it was clear that the offence has had a profound effect on the victim. He noted that there was no physical violence but said rape itself was an offence of violence.
Mr Justice White imposed a seven-year sentence and suspended the final three years on strict conditions.
Garda Tammy Hehir told Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, that the girl had been at one of her other sister's houses on the night watching a football match with the accused and his partner, who was also in attendance.
The girl had been drinking and after getting sick in the bathroom she went up to a bedroom where the accused man's partner was in bed.
Her sister left to go to a room with a double bed and when the victim awoke she found the accused on top of her with his penis inside her.
She tried to push him off and close her legs but he told her he was nearly done. He told her that her boyfriend and his partner did not have to know before she managed to finally push him off.
She texted her boyfriend who walked her home and when her mother subsequently learned what had happened she alerted gardai.
The man told gardai the sex had been consensual but seemed to accept she was asleep when he first started engaging with her.
The young woman outlined in her victim impact statement that she no longer feels safe anywhere as the rape had occurred in her sister's house, a place where she had expected to be safe.
She said now that the court case was complete she could move on with her life. "The fact I was believed by the jury has helped me a lot," she said.
She said the accused man had taken away her trust in men and her feeling of being safe.
Gda Hehir agreed with Paddy McCarthy SC, defending, that the accused came from a stable family background, complied with his bail terms and had co-operated with gardai.