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Man jailed for sexual assault and attempted rape of his sister

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault, attempted rape, threatening to kill and false imprisonment
The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault, attempted rape, threatening to kill and false imprisonment

A Westmeath man has being jailed for twelve years for the sexual assault and attempted rape of his sister.

At the time of the attack the 28-year-old man was serving the suspended portion of a four year sentence for an attempted armed robbery.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault, attempted rape, threatening to kill and false imprisonment of his sister at a location in Westmeath on June 16 2014.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the case lay at the very top end of seriousness and that it stood just short of the worst conceivable case he had dealt with.

In a victim impact statement read out in court on her behalf, the woman, who is in her 20s, said her brother had ruined her life and that she would never get over it and could not forgive him.

She said she became depressed after the attack, stopped eating, took an overdose and wanted to die. The woman said she has lost contact with her children and she hates the person she has become.

“All I want to ask is why, why did you do it to me? You can come out of prison and start afresh. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. You took away everything and I hate you for that,” she wrote.

Counsel for the defence said that the man’s sister was the one member of his large family who “cared for him in the most Christian way and offered him an olive branch” despite his long-term drink and drug addictions.

Mr Justice McCarthy imposed a sentence of 12 years on the attempted rape and aggravated sexual assault offences. These will run consecutive to the lawful termination of the sentence imposed for the robbery.

The man was convicted in July 2012 for attempted robbery offence. He was sentenced to four years with two suspended and was released in January 2014. After pleading guilty to the attack of his sister the Circuit Court reactivated 18 months of this sentence.

Garda Sergeant Raymond Lynch told the court that the victim had come to her elder brother's home to get rid of whatever alcohol was in the house and help him clean up his own mess.

She noticed a lot of cuts on his arms and asked him to turn down the loud music. When she asked him to help tidy up the house, he lunged at her and threw her on the couch, threatening to stab her to death if she didn't do what he wanted.

When he told her “I want to be with you” she began crying and pleading with him. She refused and reminded him that she was his sister and that their brother and mother lived nearby.

He held a piece of a broken plate to her neck and said he would cut out her vaginal area and “let her bleed to death” if she didn't let him do what he wanted.

He sexually assaulted her by forcing his fingers into her back passage and vagina and also biting her vagina.

By using her phone behind his back the woman managed to dial 999 and the local garda station and screamed her whereabouts down the phone. When gardaí arrived they found her in an extremely distressed state and arrested her brother.

“I was severely fucked up in the head from days of drink and heroin taking,” he told gardai, adding that he had drunk up to 13 cans of beer and a bottle of red wine on the day, as well as smoking a bag of heroin.

The man has 21 previous convictions including robbery and possession of articles.

Ken Fogarty SC, defending, said the man remains “haunted” by the shame and remorse he feels at having inflicted these terrible offences on his sister.

“This act of violence was the worst breach of trust, and to do it to the person who was offering him the charity and milk of kindness and understanding was terrible. He realises what he has done and can never leave it behind him,” said Mr Fogarty.

The man had a handwritten letter of apology which he wants conveyed to his sister. He was subjected to violence by his father and began drinking alcohol at the age of nine.

He became addicted to drink and drugs at age 13 when he dropped out of school and he began criminally offending in his teens.

A probation report put him at low to moderate risk of reoffending. A psychologist's report said the man had “significant maladjustment” in his childhood and that his intelligence falls behind 95 per cent of the population.

The court heard he has been offered a course on addiction counselling and relapse prevention while in custody. He has been placed on the sex offenders' register.

In sentencing the judge said this case fell just short in terms of seriousness to that a man  who abducted a mother and young child and subjected the woman to a prolonged sexual attack during which he drove the child away and abandoned him on a city street.