Woman raped by husband 'demoralised' at reduced sentence
‘Every day of those 10 years counted for us,’ dejected victim tells three-judge appeal court
“I know that the life of my family will change when this perpetrator is released and our safety and our freedom will be significantly altered and compromised as a consequence.” File photograph: Getty Images
A woman whose husband’s jail term for marital rape was recently reduced on appeal has said she is devastated at the court’s decision.
In an open letter to the three-judge appeal court published in today’s Irish Times the woman has described the judgment as deeply flawed.
Her 43-year-old husband – who cannot be named for legal reasons – continues to show no remorse for the crime, the appeal court heard. His original sentence of 10 years was reduced last month to 8½ years.
“I know that the life of my family will change when this perpetrator is released and our safety and our freedom will be significantly altered and compromised as a consequence. Every day of those 10 years counted for us, and your judgement has taken 547 days from our peace of mind and freedom,” she writes.
The man had been unanimously found guilty in June 2016 by a jury of 11 men and one woman of raping his wife in their home in May 2014 and threatening to cut her face.
He had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to cause serious harm to the woman and of assaulting her mother on August 7th, 2014, during a hammer attack outside the mother’s Dublin home. He attacked both women before passersby intervened. His wife lost consciousness at one stage and was covered in blood afterwards.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy imposed a sentence of 12 years for the count of rape but suspended the final two years. She imposed lesser terms for the other counts, but ordered they run concurrently with the rape sentence.
The victim’s ordeal began at the start of 2014 when she told her husband of nine years she wanted a separation. The man was jealous of her successful career and believed she was not spending enough time at home.
When the man appealed the sentence his barrister, Ronan Munro SC, submitted that the trial judge ought to have given a tailored warning to prospective jurors addressing the potential for racial bias rather than giving them the usual “generic” warning. Mr Munro said his client, who is of Arabic origin, would have preferred a more racially mixed jury but that was not possible.