Man jailed for nine years for raping wife twice in one night
Woman says self-worth ‘fell below zero’ after husband violently attacked her while drunk
The 39-year-old man was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May of two counts of the anal rape of the woman at their Co Mayo home on December 18th, 2015. File photograph: Collins Courts
A Co Mayo resident convicted of raping his wife twice in one night has been jailed for nine years.
The 39-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect his wife’s identity, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May of two counts of the anal rape of the woman at their Co Mayo home on December 18th, 2015. He has no previous convictions.
The man was found not guilty by the jury of four other counts of rape on earlier dates in 2015 and there was a direction of not guilty by the trial judge on a further count.
The court heard the man maintains his innocence.
In her victim-impact statement, the woman outlined the effect the offences had on her. She said her feelings of self-worth “fell below zero” and she had felt ashamed, helpless, humiliated and scared.
She said she had hidden what had happened from family and friends and had a constant fear someone would find out. She said she had kept blaming herself for what happened and had been plagued by nightmares. She said that she had to be strong for her children.
Mr Justice Michael White said he considered these to be most serious offences and noted the man had taken marriage vows to love and respect the woman whom he described as a “loving and loyal wife”.
He said the aggravating factors in this case included the nature of the offence, the aggression involved and the degradation of the victim.
He said in mitigation the man did not have the benefit of a guilty plea. He noted the man had said the sex was consensual and denied being violent and controlling in his marriage.
Mr Justice White took into account his lack of previous convictions and medical conditions.
He imposed nine years’ imprisonment backdated to when the man went into custody last May.
The woman gave evidence during the trial that her husband had arrived home drunk that night.
She had been watching a film with her daughter, while her son was out that night. The man went up to bed and later she told him she would be sleeping downstairs, not in the bed, once their son was home.
The court heard the man later came downstairs demanding to have sex. She refused and he removed her clothing as she tried to defend herself. He anally raped her as she shouted for help and her young daughter shouted from upstairs.
The woman said her husband caught her by the neck and slapped her as she tried to defend herself.
She said she “thought it was over” as her husband strangled her before he lifted her up by the hair.
She said the man threatened to count to three and if she did not go upstairs it would be bad for her.
The woman said she went upstairs and was anally raped again by her husband. He asked for oral sex and she persuaded him to have a shower. Their son arrived home and got his sister who had been crying into her pillow in her bedroom.
The woman left the house with her children, afraid her husband would follow them.
A local garda told Patrick Reynolds, prosecuting, during the sentence hearing that the woman went to a friend’s house before going to gardaí and being taken to a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit.
The man was interviewed by gardaí and said all sex had been consensual.
Defence counsel Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC submitted a number of documents to the court including a testimonial from a former employer describing an incident where the accused man had acted bravely. He outlined the man’s numerous medical conditions.
Counsel said his client had given up alcohol after these allegations arose. He said the greatest punishment the man had endured was the separation from his family. He submitted that there had been a complex situation involved in relation to the couple’s relationship.
Mr Ó Lideadha asked the court to consider suspending part of the sentence to encourage improved behaviour on his client’s part.