A 38-YEAR-OLD man who sexually attacked his ex-partner at knifepoint has been jailed for five years and nine months.
Garda Muireann Byrne said the crimes dated back to October 25, 2014, and the man pleaded guilty more recently to charges of assault causing harm and sexual assault on his then-partner.
Mr Justice Michael McGrath said at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork: “It was a significant assault and has caused significant harm to her. The culpability of the accused is high. A knife was produced.
“She was put through a very frightening experience. He threatened to take his own life at the scene. This can only have heightened the anxiety she had to endure.
“The appropriate headline sentence is at the higher end, particularly so given production of the knife during the offending. The headline sentence is nine-and-a-half years.”
Mitigating factors — including the guilty plea, his difficult and tragic family background, and absence of previous sexual convictions — were taken into consideration and the last two-and-a-half years of the sentence were suspended. The remaining seven years then had the last 15 months suspended to take into consideration psychiatric history and drug and alcohol addiction, and to encourage rehabilitation. It was backdated to October 2021.
The victim said it was convenient for the accused to have no memory of his actions and she wished she was able to forget it.
Garda Byrne said the accused returned home at 5am in an intoxicated condition on the occasion. Shortly before noon, there was an argument, he got angry, and told his partner to go to the bedroom.
He punched her in the face and started ripping off her clothes. She ran from the house in fear.
“He dragged her from the front gate up the rocky drive to the house, causing her to bleed. She tried to calm him down. He told her, ‘Don’t try and run away from me, I have a knife’,” said Garda Byrne.
The man sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and said, ‘I know I am going to jail for this.’ He said he did not know why he was doing this. He then put the knife to his own throat and threatened to take his own life.
The injured party managed to calm him down and got him some beer. She pretended to go to the toilet and escaped.
The accused admitted himself for psychiatric treatment which he received over the following two months. He then fled to the UK, where he worked under a different name, and was ultimately arrested on a European arrest warrant.