A man who sexually assaulted a woman he claims he had just married in a Muslim ceremony has been jailed for five and half years.
The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last April, to sexually assaulting the woman at his home on December 1st, 2017.
He had pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape, one of sexual assault and one of attempted rape of the woman in his Dublin home on various occasions over the weekend of December 1st to December 3rd, 2017.
The jury told Mr Justice Alex Owens last April, following eight and half hours deliberation on day-10 of the trial, that they could reach a majority verdict on one count, but they were deadlocked in relation to the other four counts.
On Monday Mr Justice Owens described the man as “a schemer”. “He didn’t get carried away. He did what he did because he thought he could get away with it.”
Ceremony as permission
He said the man viewed the ceremony as permission to have sex with the woman. “He did this knowing she was not in a position to complain about this behaviour,” Mr Justice Owens said.
He said the man was considerably older than the woman and “more experienced in the ways of the world”.
“She was seeking asylum here and was ill-equipped to fend off his manipulation,” Mr Justice Owens said before he added that the whole incident had been planned.
He said the man would have been fully aware of the fact that the woman’s culture “does not tolerate sexual activities outside of marriage”.
Disowned by family
Mr Justice Owens said the woman’s family have since disowned her and she has tried to take her own life. “It is clear from the evidence of the trial it will not be easy for her to find a husband,” the judge commented.
Mr Justice Owens acknowledged that a number of character references were handed in on behalf of the man, including his daughter “whom he is devoted to”.
“It is clear that there are two sides to his character. He lacks any remorse, by his own account he is the real victim,” Mr Justice Owens.
He imposed a sentence of six years and suspended the final six months on condition that the man keep the peace and be of good behaviour for those six months.
Mr Justice Owens imposed a four-year post release supervision order after he commented that he thinks that the man will still be “capable of committing sexual offences on his release from prison”.
He noted that a report from the Probation Service indicated that man would “need supervision with regard to his attitude to women”.
Mr Justice Owens warned the man that there is a consequence for not complying with the post release supervision without reasonable excuse and that failure to comply could lead to a term of imprisonment of 12 months.
A victim impact statement, read into the record by the garda, said the woman “greatly suffered with my mind. Again and again I ask why this happened, but there was no answer to be found”.
She said her country, culture and also her family denied her the rights she should have as a woman.
The woman said the man should know how important it is that a woman have control over herself, both being the father of a daughter and a Muslim.
She said she suffered with depression and PTSD and has had tried to take her own life a number of times.
“I know I will never be the same person again. Each day I pray that I will get through the day,” the woman continued before she added that her family have since disowned her.
She said within her “merciless culture” the accused has brought “shame and hurt” both to herself and her family.
The woman said she has no friends and doesn’t see what lies ahead of her before she added that she has put faith in the gardaí in the criminal justice system.
She made reference to the fact that it was put before the jury that she made up the allegation in a bid to be allowed to stay Ireland. “There is no country in the world, where a Muslim woman would dare say she has been sexually assaulted when she has not”.
“No man, no woman, no government can say she (a woman) must behave one way and turn its back when a man does what he wants,” the woman concluded.