Brion Hoban and Sonya McLean
A man who imprisoned, sexually abused and repeatedly assaulted a teenager during a four day “reign of terror” in a Co Cavan house has been jailed for nine years.
The main male accused (27) subjected the victim to this multiple day ordeal after forming the “irrational” view that the victim had “ratted” on him, based on the fact that the victim had not been served a charge sheet upon his release from custody after being found in possession of drugs.
The Central Criminal Court heard that during the ordeal, this man stabbed the victim with a number of knives and cut a crescent shape onto the victim's face, which the court heard in certain circles bears the inference of a “rat scar”.
The man also at one point inserted a dildo or other sex toy into the man's “back passage”.
The court heard that a female co-accused (23) carved the numbers 666 into the victim's forehead during the incident, while her twin brother (23) assaulted the victim with a wrench and a dumbbell.
The ordeal came to an end after material recorded during the events and uploaded to social media came to the attention of the victim's friends and family, and they were able to use a tracking device on his phone to locate them. They attended at this address and enabled the victim to escape.
The victim was aged 19 at the time of the offences. None of the parties in the case can be named for legal reasons.
The main male accused pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, assault causing serious harm, false imprisonment, making threats to kill, assault causing harm and robbery, all at a location in Co Cavan between October 17th and October 20th, 2019.
This accused has a total of 26 previous convictions in this jurisdiction and in Northern Ireland, including convictions for theft, possession of drugs for sale or supply, possession of knives and other articles and public order offences.
The male twin pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and two counts of assault causing harm, while the female twin pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and assault causing harm, all offences at the same location in Co Cavan during the same period.
The male twin has 11 previous convictions, including convictions for assault, theft, criminal damage and public order offences. The female twin has no previous convictions.
The female twin was sentenced last May to four years imprisonment with the final three years and three months suspended. The male twin will be sentenced on Friday, July 30th.
A local detective sergeant told Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, that the victim came to know the main male accused in October 2019 in the context of them having mutual friends.
The detective sergeant said that on October 17th, 2019, the victim and this man went to Dublin where they purchased cannabis and Zopiclone tablets. Their conduct on the bus back to Cavan caused the driver to stop the bus and contact gardaí who arrested both men.
Gardaí searched the two men in a garda station and found the drugs in the possession of the victim. Both men were released without charge and they retired to the accused's address.
The detective sergeant said the accused formed the “irrational” view that the victim had “ratted” on him, basing this erroneous view on the fact that the victim had not been served a charge sheet upon his release from custody.
Mr Justice Michael White said the ordeal had been a “betrayal by friends” for the victim, whom he said was “remarkably understanding” in his impact statement.
Passing sentence on Thursday, Justice White said the main male accused was the “instigator” of the false imprisonment.
Justice White said the nature of the offending was an aggravating factor as the victim was subjected to a “reign of terror” over several days. He said the other aggravating factors were the impact of the violence on the victim and some of the activity being recorded and uploaded online.
He said this was an order of criminality out of character to the main male accused's previous offending. He noted the accused has had behavioural difficulties since childhood which are aggravated by chronic drug use.
Mr Justice White sentenced the main male accused to 11 years imprisonment, but suspended the final two years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he will follow all directions of the Probation Service for two years post release.