Man sentenced to 14 years for raping aunt

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A man who violently raped his 71-year-old aunt in her Co Louth home after absconding from prison in the UK has been jailed for 14 years.

The 51-year-old man was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury last month of the rape and sexual assault of his aunt at her home on March 13, 2011 following an eight day trial.

The accused man raped his aunt on her bed after tearing off the woman’s clothes during a four hour ordeal which began when she let him in for a cup of tea. The woman sustained substantial injuries to her genital area and had difficulty walking for some time.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the woman had understandably felt she was safe letting her nephew in for a cup of tea. “Sadly she could not have been more wrong,” he said.

He noted the accused has not expressed any “regret, apology or remorse” for the offence.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the aggravating factors include the vulnerability of the victim, the disparity in physical strength, the injuries sustained by the woman and the effect the offence had on her. He imposed a 14 years sentence for the rape and a concurrent three and a half years for the sexual assault.

In her victim impact statement, the now 75 year old woman outlined how she no longer trusts men or feels safe in her own home and felt ashamed to tell her family about the rape.

Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, said the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions was that the offences were on the higher end of the scale.

The accused man has a large number of previous convictions from the UK and has served significant time in prison. He had absconded from prison there after failing to return from day release.

He returned to England after this offence where he was arrested and later extradited to Ireland after finishing his sentence there. He had claimed the sex was consensual.

Eoin Lawlor BL, defending, said the accused man is single with no children and no drug addictions. He has been in custody on this offence for two years.

Det Inspt Marry said the man had been given day release in January 2011 from a sentence he was serving but he failed to return to prison .

He returned to the UK following the rape where he was arrested in June 2011 and returned to prison. He was interviewed in prison by gardaí and he told them there had been “a moment of moral weakness” between him and his aunt and the sex was consensual.


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