herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Rape beast Berkeley in court on arson charge over industrial bin fire

Rapist Eoin Berkeley was jailed last November for 14 years
Rapist Eoin Berkeley was jailed last November for 14 years

Convicted rapist Eoin Berkeley has appeared in court charged with criminal damage after allegedly setting fire to two industrial bins only weeks before he abducted and raped a young woman.

Berkeley (25) is serving a 14-year sentence for the repeated rape of a Spanish student on an area of wasteland in Sandymount in July 2017.

The student told a court she believed she was going to be killed by Berkeley, who kept her captive for 21 hours.

Berkeley, originally from Finglas, told the terrified teenager he had killed six people as he threatened to smash her head with a stone, and said he would cut her hands off with a saw.

The victim, who was then 18, was raped three times before Berkeley finally fell asleep and she ran for her life.

Berkeley pleaded guilty last November and was sentenced to 14 years.

He was taken from the Midlands Prison yesterday morning and appeared before Judge Geraldine Carthy at a sitting of Dublin District Court.

Gda Christopher Lanney gave evidence of arresting him at the court and putting the criminal damage charge to him.

The charge is that on May 31, 2017, less than two months before the rapes, he committed arson by setting two industrial bins on fire at Liberty Lane, Dublin 8, intending to damage the property or be reckless as to whether the property would be damaged.

Berkeley made no reply when charged, the court heard.

Judge Carthy remanded him in custody for one week.

Berkeley's solicitor, Tony Collier, sought disclosure of CCTV footage and a memorandum of garda interviews. This was granted by the judge.

He also successfully applied for free legal aid.

Berkeley did not speak during the short hearing.

Wearing dark blue jeans rolled up at the bottom and boots, he kept his hands in the pockets of his blue anorak and looked around the court.

During his trial for rape last year, the court heard that the victim, from a small town in Spain.

She had never been away from home before she arrived in Ireland to do a course to improve her English.

Grotesque

She had only been in Dublin for a fortnight when she encountered Berkeley by chance at a Luas stop.

He offered to take her to the beach but then lured her to the disused site, where he tied her hands with a dog lead and raped her.

The court heard Berkeley did not admit the crime while in garda custody and gave a false alibi.

However, he would later make an admission of sorts, taking what his counsel described as "the grotesque step" of cutting himself and writing "I am so sorry" in his own blood on the wall of a courtroom holding cell.

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