A Limerick man has been sentenced to 12 and a half years’ imprisonment for the violent, repeated rape of a woman in her home.
The "savage, brutal and prolonged" attack by Alan Hanley (34), in which he punched and kicked the woman, only came to an end when she ran from her house with only a towel and a "throw" to cover her while Hanley attempted to turn off a smoke alarm after he had tried to burn a rug.
Hanley, of Upper Carey’s Road, Limerick city, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of rape at a house in the city on the night of May 4th and 5th, 2012.
He had admitted assaulting the woman causing her harm on the same occasion.
After a retrial last month, a jury returned guilty verdicts on the three rape charges.
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy imposed sentences of 12 and a half years for each of the rape offences. She imposed the maximum possible sentence of five years for the assault, saying it was hard to envisage a more serious attack.
‘Fear of her life’
“He terrorised her for more than an hour, putting her in real fear of her life,” the judge said. All sentences will run concurrently from May 2012, when he was placed in custody.
Hanley has previous convictions, including for possession of a knife in 2000 and threats to kill in 2007 and 2008. He was convicted of intimidating a witness in his own 2008 case.
At the time of the attack the victim had been seeking treatment for abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.
The court heard her rehabilitation attempts were set back after the attack but she had made significant progress more recently.
She suffered from nightmares which left her terrified to sleep and still attends weekly counselling with the Rape Crisis Centre.
Ms Justice Murphy said the woman had worked hard on her personal growth and self-esteem.
The victim had met Hanley some weeks before the attack and there was a sexual element to their relationship, the court heard.
Serious falling out
Two nights before the rape, Hanley and the victim had a serious falling out.
Sgt Andrew Lacey told the sentence hearing that on the night of the attack, Hanley went to the woman's house and began punching and kicking her when she answered the door.
He continued to attack her until she was lying in a ball by the fireplace.
He then tore all her clothes off and raped her on the rug before dragging her by her hair into a shower where he “hosed her down”, the court heard.
She tried to escape but he caught her and raped her a second time, and dragged her into the shower again.
He then dragged her downstairs where he raped her a third time.
He then started cutting up a rug and began burning pieces of it in the fireplace. He burned all her underwear and other clothing, telling her “they’ll get no evidence here”.