A recovering alcoholic who raped his partner on the day they bought an engagement ring together has been sentenced to eight years.
The accused pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, aggravated sexual assault and assault of the woman in their Donegal home on August 17, 2008.
Mr Justice Paul Carney sentenced the man to eight years in prison for rape and aggravated assault and six months for common assault to run concurrently. He suspended the final two years and ordered that the accused be supervised for 18 months after his release.
Garda Claire O'Hara earlier told the court the man and his partner were both recovering alcoholics. She said they had bought an engagement ring on the day of the assault, but the accused had then gone out and began “drinking very heavily”.
He returned home after 3am with a bottle of vodka. He forced this into the woman’s mouth and committed the assaults.
She sustained very heavy bruising around her face and eyes. She waited at the house until the accused fell asleep and she then escaped.
The woman was not in court but submitted a victim impact statement which stated that she is now “virtually a recluse”.
She said she has “flashbacks and nightmares” of her ordeal and has gone from being a friendly woman to a nervous person. She is not able to form relationships with men and cannot be alone with a man.
Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC handed in a number of testimonials to the court on behalf of his client. He also read an apology from the accused, in which he stated that three lives had been torn apart – his, his former partner's and their child's.
Mr Grehan noted that the accused had pleaded guilty in advance of the trial date. He said that his client has no previous convictions for sexual offences or any serious violence.
The court also heard the accused told gardaí he had been abused himself when he was young.