independent

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Jail for father who raped son's girlfriend

SEVEN-YEAR SENTENCE HANDED DOWN

A WEXFORD man who was convicted by a jury of raping his son's 18-year-old girlfriend in 2006 has been jailed for seven years.

The 46-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 23-year-old woman, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury in April of raping and sexually assaulting the girl.

The sentence was handed down by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy yesterday (Tuesday). A WEXFORD man who was convicted by a jury of raping his son's 18-year-old girlfriend has been jailed for seven years.

The 46-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the now 23-year-old woman, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury in April of raping and sexually assaulting the girl.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges which occurred in his car on August 13, 2006. A jury had failed to agree on a verdict in an earlier trial.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy called it 'a very nasty incident' and 'a gross breach of trust'.

'What normal person would not have felt completely confident about getting a lift a short distance with their boyfriend's father?' he commented.

The judge noted the man denied the attack, continues to do so and has nearly no mitigation in his favour.

Mr Justice McCarthy noted a probation report which said he was at a low risk of reoffending but that it also ' hammers home his lack of contrition'.

The man had driven both his son and the girl home that night but instead of dropping off the teenager he drove on to another area, where he tried to instigate sex with her. When she did not consent, he drove on again to an isolated laneway where he both raped and sexually assaulted her.

His ex-partner told Mr Paddy McCarthy SC, defending, that she had been in a relationship with his client for 10 years and they had a child together. She said he was ' 100 percent generous' to their son.

'The pain and hurt in my son's eyes when I told him the outcome of the trial,' the woman said, before she added that she was worried about the mental state of her former partner since the verdict.

She said he still has 'a huge amount of support' from his extended family and friends and will have that on his eventual release from prison. She said the man posed 'no risk to anyone'. His ex-wife had also written a letter supporting the man.

Garda James Farrell told Mr Gerry Clarke SC, prosecuting, that the accused dropped his son at home but did not let the girl out at her home 500 yards up the road. He instead drove on to an area nearby where he tried to have sex with her.

Gda Farrell agreed with Mr Clarke ' that when it was obvious the girl was not a willing participant he drove to an isolated laneway and raped and sexually assaulted her'.

The man then dropped the victim home. She immediately reported the incident to the Gardai. Gda Farrell agreed with Mr Clarke that the man still maintains his innocence and claims 'she instigated the encounter'.

He said that she had been looking at him in the pub earlier that night, making it clear 'in his mind' that she was interested in having sex with him. The man still maintained this position in both trials and always said the girl had been 'pursuing him'.

Gda Farrell said he had never come to Garda attention before and has not come to attention since.

Mr Clarke said the Director of Public Prosecutions placed the offence at the higher end of the scale as there was a complete absence of mitigation and he had stood trial twice. He said the crime represented 'a breach of trust'.

Gda Farrell agreed with Mr McCarthy that the man had been running his own business which is now in jeopardy and would ' likely go down the tubes'. He further accepted that his client's reputation in the local community had ' hugely diminished' since the offence.

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