Judge tells man he can't 'buy himself out' of jail for rape

Judge makes comment as Clare man sentenced for Tipperary attack

Thomas Egan arriving at Dublin Central Criminal Court yesterday where last May he was convicted by a jury of rape in 2010. Photograph: Collins/Courts.

Thomas Egan arriving at Dublin Central Criminal Court yesterday where last May he was convicted by a jury of rape in 2010. Photograph: Collins/Courts.

 


A man who raped a woman he had asked to clean his house has been sentenced to 7½ years, after a judge said he couldn’t “buy himself out” of a custodial sentence.

Thomas Egan (47), Cahermurphy, Kilmihill, Co Clare, paid over €10,000 in court to be forwarded to his victim, who has since returned to Brazil.

Mr Justice Barry White also said that on reading the victim impact report, he did not believe the rape had “a profound psychological effect” on her.

“It strikes me that your victim is more interested in compensation rather than anything else,” he said.

He sentenced Egan to 7½ years in prison with the final 3½ years suspended. He directed that €50 given by Egan to the woman at the time of the offence be sent to the St Vincent de Paul. He noted that Egan had a previous “unblemished record” apart from a minor road traffic offence.

Egan was convicted last May by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of raping the woman (23) at a house in Tipperary on July 5th, 2010.

Egan admitted having sex with the woman, but told gardaí it was consensual and that she had not shown any fear.

Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, said Egan had approached the woman on a street in Gort, Co Galway, and asked her to clean a house. He drove them to the house in Tipperary and he set out a number of cleaning tasks for her.

Upstairs, Egan started to kiss her and touch her. “She knew at that stage he wanted sex,” Mr Gillane said. “She was afraid if she said ‘No’ to him, it would make matters worse.

He then raped her.

Afterwards the woman put on her clothes and asked him to drive her home. The following day, she made a complaint. The court heard that she returned to Brazil a short time later.

Det Garda Colette Acton told the court that during Garda interviews, Egan maintained there had been consensual sex.

Brendan Grehan SC, defending, said the woman did not put up any resistance, to which Det Garda Acton replied: “She was afraid.”

Conor McKenna, also defending, said Egan had made an unconditional offer of €10,000 “to ease the victim’s financial woes”. Egan was also prepared to further offer €5,000 a year for three years, with the first payment to take place in December, he said. However the court heard that Egan would not be able to follow through on this additional offer if his circumstances were “radically altered” by his being imprisoned.

Mr McKenna said Egan, a father of four, was held in high esteem and was a hard-working man who had provided for his family. He had used no “gratuitous violence” or threats of any kind, “not even a raised voice”.