A man has been jailed for 13 years for the brutal rape of a woman four times after inviting her to his home to help him with some painting.
A victim impact statement said that in the days after the rape she kept thinking, “Why did I not die that night? He should have killed me that night.”
She cut herself with a small blade because it was “my way of taking some control back”.
“The best way to describe how I felt about myself at the time was that I was damaged,” the woman stated.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury last February of two charges of rape, two charges of anal rape and assaulting the woman causing her harm at his Laois home on July 19th, 2012.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy sentenced the man today to 14 years in prison, with the final year suspended.
She also handed down a three-and-a-half year sentence for assault, with the final six months suspended. All sentences are to run concurrently.
The judge had previously declared the man a sex offender.
A local garda told Tim O’Leary SC, prosecuting, that the woman told the jury during the trial she had agreed to go to the man’s house.
She knew him through his cousin and was going to help him with a painting job, but the garda said the episode took “a nasty turn”.
“She was assaulted, threatened, removed to an upstairs bedroom, attacked and brutally raped,” said the garda.
He said after the first incident of both vaginal and anal rape, the woman was forced into a shower cubicle and washed down before she was returned to the bedroom again and both anally and vaginally raped.
She was then made to shower again before the man instructed her to get dressed and led her out of the house.
The garda said the man then brought the woman to her friend’s home.
This man, the accused’s first cousin, was the person who organised for her to help with the painting job.
En route to the house, the accused made her scrape her knuckles off a wall and told her that if anyone asked how she sustained her injuries she was to say that she had been in a fight with another woman.
The man threatened to kill both her and her mother if she did not stick to this “fictitious story”, the garda said.
He said the woman was so frightened on the way to her friend’s house that even though two patrol cars passed her, she made no effort to flag them down.
She told people in her friend’s house, under duress from the accused, that she had been in a fight and then asked to be brought home.
The following day her friend noticed very visible injuries to the woman’s face despite the fact she had tried to conceal them with heavy make-up.
She reported the attack to gardaí nine days later and the man was arrested on July 31st, 2012.
He denied the allegations in a subsequent Garda interview. The man was returned to Ireland on an European Arrest Warrant in 2014 from the UK.
A victim impact report said the woman had cuts and bruising to her face from punches she received and had friction marks on her inner thighs.
She still suffered badly with nightmares, dreaming that the man had kidnapped her and raped her again.
She had panic attacks and outlined one such incident when she thought she saw the man in her local shopping centre.
She described feeling as if she was in a strait-jacket, unable to breathe, unable to move and her friend had to bring her outside until she felt safe again.
Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending, asked the court to take into account evidence during the trial from his client’s mother about his difficult childhood.
He said his background “led him on to many acts of criminal misconduct in the UK” - offences which counsel said the man had pleaded guilty to.
The woman said in her victim impact statement she was stressed and anxious during the trial, and found it difficult to relive the night and give her evidence with the man sitting very close beside her.
“I was being told I was telling lies, when I knew all along it was true. I really blame myself for it all, how stupid could I have been to think all he wanted was help to paint,” the woman said.
She said she had found it very difficult to trust anyone since. She said a current boyfriend felt responsible and believed she did not trust him. She described it as a heavy burden.
The woman said her self-esteem and her self-worth had suffered and she described her family and close friends as an amazing support.
“I can now start to really live my life again and I feel I can have a future,” the woman concluded.