Limerick man found guilty of assault and false imprisonment of partner
A Limerick man on trial for raping, torturing and imprisoning his partner has been acquitted of most charges but convicted of assault and false imprisonment.
The jury spent six and a half hours deliberating after a eleven day trial at the Central Criminal Court. It found him guilty of assaulting the woman outside her home and of dragging her into a waiting car. He was also convicted of beating her with a shovel until it broke.
The jury returned not guilty verdicts on the charge of keeping her in a house for a week and of raping her several times, including with a bottle. The jury could not decide on two counts of rape and the man may face a retrial on these allegations.
He had already pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman outside the house.
Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan removed the man's bail after garda evidence that he was now considered a flight risk as a result of the convictions. She set a sentencing date for December 14. The State will indicate whether it wants a retrial on the two rape counts on November 30.
The judged thanked the jurors for their time and dedication and exempted them for further service for ten years.
The trial heard that the man dragged the mother of his child into a car when he suspected she was seeing another man.
The woman said she was beaten and taken to a house where she was kept against her will. She said that over the course of six days she was raped “countless times” including with a bottle of beer.
She alleged the man held her head under water in a basin until she started to drown and that he scalded her genitals with hot water. She said he also encouraged his friend to rape her.
She said over the next six days she was locked in the bedroom and raped repeatedly by the man.
“He continuously raped, tortured and beat me,” she said. “I consented to most of them because I was in fear of my life.”
The woman told the jury that on the sixth day she was brought to another house where the accused went into a jealous rage and beat her with a shovel until it broke.
The defence said the sex was all consensual and the woman had many opportunities to leave the house if she wanted to.
They also pointed to evidence that they say show the woman was happy with the man, such as her giving him a love bite during the alleged ordeal.
The 35-year-old accused had pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment and four counts of assault causing harm at various locations in Limerick between May 3 and May 9, 2012.
The jury had previously been ordered to return not guilty verdicts on charges of rape and assault which were not supported by the evidence.
By Conor Gallagher