Man sentenced to 13 years for raping elderly woman
Victim left ‘broken, terrorised’ after attack by Anthony Hussey (24) in September 2014
Anthony Hussey (26) has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for the rape of a 73-year-old woman in Kerry in 2014. Photograph: Michelle Cooper Galvin
A Kerry man who twice raped a 73-year-old woman after breaking into her home and leaving her “waiting for death” has been jailed for 13 years.
Anthony Hussey (26) was wearing a balaclava and dressed in dark clothing when the woman found him in her bedroom on September 20th, 2014.
He told her that his boss was making him do it and that he didn want money. “It’s just one thing and you are going to like it,” Hussey said before he told the woman there were three more men outside.
She screamed and struggled with him but he pushed her to the floor and placed his hands over her mouth.
Hussey of Ardshillane, Sneem, pleaded guilty to the rape at the Central Criminal Court.
“One runs short of words to describe the seriousness of some of the offences that come before the court, particularly offences of a sexual nature,” Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said.
“This must be regarded as a sexual offence, of its class, of the serious conceivable kind.”
The judge said a hallmark of the case was the woman’s immense courage and determination.” He commended her as “a deeply impressive witness” who took the stand to deliver a powerful victim impact statement as part of her healing process.
“She was violated in the vilest manner in her own home,” he added. “The intrusion makes this case stand out in its seriousness.”
In mitigation, Mr Justice McCarthy said he was considering Hussey’s “otherwise good character”, his letter of apology and, most importantly, his guilty plea. He said this entitled him to a discount to his sentence of between a quarter and a third.
He imposed a 13 year sentenced which was backdated to when he went in custody in 2014. The judge also imposed a five year post release supervision order.
Sgt Michael Quirke told Tom Creed SC, prosecuting, that Hussey had been at the woman’s house earlier that morning. She had woken to loud knocking and banging on the doors and windows of her house.
He claimed he had gone there by mistake having been drinking heavily through the night and went home. He then returned, broke into her house and raped her. She called the emergency services to report the rape just before 8am that morning.
He was a bar manager at the time and has never come to Garda attention before or since. He was registered as a sex offender when he entered his plea last March.
In the days after the rape Hussey told acquaintances he was “looking at time”. He told his friends he had gone to the woman’s house wearing a balaclava but said it was “only a f****n’ break-in” and claimed he hadn’t raped her.
His DNA was later found on a fleece the woman had been wearing. He admitted to gardaí that he had been at her home earlier that morning but said he couldn’t remember going back afterwards.
The woman read her victim impact statement. She said after the rape she was sobbing uncontrollably like a small child, “broken, terrorised, waiting for my death”.
She said: “This phantom out of the darkness, standing in front of me demanding sex. I had no option but to fight. My feeble attempts to push him away. I was too weak or clumsy to defend myself, which seemed to amuse him. He started mocking me. When I pulled at his balaclava he said “ah you want to see my face now.”
“The belittling comments continued. He threatened me with a gang outside. . . I knew I had no chance of winning his game,” she said.
“How can he behave with such brutality? A woman three times his age. He could be my grandson.”
She said it was more than one and half years since the rape and she felt “ashamed, naked, raw and so old, disgusted, betrayed and humiliated. There are not enough words”.
“I can’t stop screaming inside. My heart is bleeding with shock. . . I feel ripped open stood naked to the core of my being, reduced to nothing. I feel so hollowed out. I feel so small, having been reduced to a puppet like from a Punch and Judy show,” the victim said. She added she felt “gutted in the truest sense of the word”.
She spoke of a hill near her home that she used to walk up but could no longer do so without company.
“The day will come when I walk to the top of my hill, stand tall, lift up my arms to the sky and scream, scream for all those children and women who have been abused and who can’t cry out in despair, those who had to suffer in silence.”
Michael Bowman SC, defending handed in a number of testimonials confirming that Hussey and his family were well thought of in the local community.
He said a report from a forensic psychologist stated that Hussey did not have common characteristics that would be found in the personality profiles of sexual predators and concluded that he did not present a future danger to others.
The reports made reference to Hussey watching “hardcore pornography” and visiting a prostitute.
Counsel handed in a letter of apology from Hussey which said that he understood fully “the horrors he has impacted on the woman” and that he had listened intently to her statement.
A letter of apology from his parents said the victim would “always be in their prayers”.
The victim said her whole life had been shattered and turned upside down. She described feeling like a child in the wilderness with nowhere to go, “having been sexually abused, terrified and in pain”.
She said she was fearful, felt stripped naked and defiled and not well enough to live alone, “yet my offender walked free”.
She described her home as her “Irish paradise” and felt she owed to it herself to work towards reclaiming it.
“I lost the trust in myself and in people. I live in fear.” she said before she added that she felt danger when someone called to her home.
“My body feels like it is on constant alert. A sudden noise, if a young man with dark hair or a hood passes by, my body tenses. I have to look the other way or cross the road, focus on my breathing, telling myself I am safe”.
“I still see quite often in the corner of my right eye, the slim black masked figure standing behind me. I have not managed to ignore it. I wish I was invisible,” the woman continued.
She said she felt sorry for Hussey’s parents and concluded that she was grateful for having been given a voice.
“I hope to get some closure today and to begin again and rebuild my life.”