A Westmeath chef who raped a young woman after inviting her back to his apartment for a party has been given a seven year sentence.
Samir Mansour (48) had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman at his then apartment at Windmill Hill, Prospect, Dublin Road, Mullingar on January 8, 2010.
Mansour, with a current address at The Lock, Market Point, Mullingar, was convicted by a jury after six and a quarter hours’ deliberation following a trial earlier this month.
The Court of Criminal Appeal had last year ordered a re-trial in the case after finding that questions from a previous jury prior to his initial conviction on four charges in 2012 had rendered the outcome unsafe. The trial had also collapsed on one occasion prior to his initial conviction.
At a retrial last year, Mansour was acquitted of a number of counts but the jury disagreed on the rape charge leading to the final trial this month. The case was tried on four occasions in total.
Mr Justice Barry White said that the fact that the case had come before the court four times would have played on Mansour's mind as well as the victims. He noted the offence has had a deep and lasting effect on the injured party.
He said that following the previous conviction, subsequently overturned, a sentence of nine and a half years had been imposed but on that occasion there had been a conviction on three other counts as well as rape.
Mr Justice White imposed a seven-year sentence and suspended the final year on conditions.
Garda Joe Kenny told Patrick Marrinan SC, prosecuting, that the then 20-year-old woman had been out socialising before going to a nightclub where she met Mansour who suggested they go back to his apartment where he was having a few friends over.
The woman told him she was gay and Mansour told her he was also gay but she was not inclined to believe him. They got a taxi back to the apartment where he cooked for her and there was “risque” material on the television.
When Mansour indicated his friends would not be coming she became apprehensive and tried unsuccessfully to call friends and a taxi.
Mansour began making lewd remarks and told her: “All gay people have sex together.” She asked for an exact address of his home but he would not give it to her.
She said Mansour changed completely, became aggressive and grabbed her by the arms. She bit him on the chest but he easily overpowered her and manhandled her into a bedroom where he raped her.
Afterwards he told her he was sorry and asked if they could still be friends. She agreed in order to placate him and rang her father as soon as she left the apartment. Gardaí were alerted and she was taken to a sexual assault treatment unit. The court heard that Mansour has no previous convictions and had been working as a chef in a restaurant in Mullingar since coming to this country from Tunisia in 2001. He is a father of one from a previous marriage.
Mr Marrinan handed in a victim impact report which he said the young woman did not require to be read out but indicated that the offence has had long term effects on her. He said the Director of Public Prosecutions' view was that the offences were at the high end of the mid range.
Bernard Condon SC, defending, submitted that his client had a significant work history and had co-operated with and been respectful to the gardaí and the courts. He handed in a number of testimonials on his behalf.
He asked the court to take into account the delay in proceedings coming to an end and that Mansour spent time in custody following his initial conviction.