A man who raped his friend while she was sleeping in her daughter’s bed with the child lying beside her has been jailed for four and half years.
The 44-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the woman, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury sitting in Cork last June. The evidence in relation to the sentence hearing was heard in Cork earlier this month before it was transferred to Dublin for sentence.
The man had pleaded not guilty to raping the woman at her home in Cork city over the night of February 3 and 4, 2017.
Sentencing the man today Justice Michael MacGrath noted that the woman told the jury during the trial that the man called around to her house that evening and had brought wine with him. She drank the wine but added 7up to it as she felt it was too strong.
She said she hadn’t noticed the man drinking the wine, but he later asked if he could stay over because he could not drive home as he had been drinking.
She allowed him to stay over and headed to her daughter’s bedroom to sleep. The child was in bed with her.
She woke up later and found that the zip on her onesie had been pulled down and she felt pain in her vagina.
The woman went downstairs and found the man lying on her son’s bed and she told him to get out of the room.
She decided to report it to the gardaí and was examined in the Sexual Assault Treatment unit of her local hospital.
Mr Justice MacGrath noted from the woman’s victim impact statement that she had been friends with the man for many years and never thought of him as anything other than a friend.
She found it difficult to cope with every day tasks since the rape and she feels she is no longer the parent she had been to her children. She worries about the impact this will have on her children.
The woman described how she used to be vivacious and happy but she is now suspicious and guilt ridden. Her hope is that, with the support of family and friends, she can put the incident behind her and get on with her life.
Mr Justice MacGrath noted that the man sought asylum in Ireland 23 years ago and has been in full-time employment since. He attended college to gain further qualifications to allow him to progress in his career.
The man is in a long term relationship, is due to get married and is expecting a child in December.
Mr Justice MacGrath said the rape represented a gross breach of trust and an invasion of the woman’s home where she was entitled to feel safe.
He sentenced the man to six years in prison and suspended the final 18 months having taken into account his lack of previous convictions and good work history. Mr Justice MacGrath said he did not feel it was necessary to impose post-release supervision.