Man raped nephew's wife while she was sleeping beside her husband and toddler
A Dublin man who raped his nephew's wife while she was sleeping beside her husband and toddler has been sentenced to eight years in prison with the final 12 months suspended.
The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court following a four-day trial earlier in the month.
He had pleaded not guilty to raping the woman at a caravan park in Dublin on March 7, 2014.
Garda Jacinta Martin told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn BL, the victim and her husband were asleep in their caravan along with their four children when the defendant came inside intoxicated and claimed he was looking for money for a taxi fare at around 3am.
The victim was half asleep and was on medication when she discovered a man was fondling her. Her young baby was lying beside her.
She assumed it was her husband wanting sex and she allowed herself to be on top of him.
She said the man had sex with her and straight afterwards she became confused as she realised there was another man in her bed.
She jumped off the defendant and woke her husband up.
The defendant was trying to put his clothes back on when he said something to the woman and she recognised his voice being that of her husband's uncle.
When she fully woke up the next morning she realised what had happened and scrubbed herself before stripping the bed clothes off the bed and went to the Rape Crisis Centre.
The defendant's mobile phone was found in the bedroom.
During the trial, the defendant's sister said he had called to her caravan “a bit worse for wear” from drink and said he was looking for money for a taxi fare.
He said he was going to his nephew's caravan and while there he took the opportunity to rape the woman, the court heard.
In a victim impact report, the woman said she “feels physically sick and traumatised” by the incident.
She said she was “living in fear” of him and was on extra medication to help her get through it all.
“My life and my family's life is destroyed because of all of this,” she said. “We were all happy before this.”
She said when her children saw her crying they asked her what was wrong but she could not bring herself to tell them what happened.
She said she kept getting flashbacks to the night and had woken up screaming.
Garda Martin agreed with defence counsel Damien Colgan SC, that no threats were made on the night.
Mr Colgan said the 41-year-old married man, who has 21 previous convictions for burglary, thefts and road traffic offences, had no great job prospects and suffered from medical conditions such as depression, anxiety and from lower back pain.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the likely explanation for the man's offending was that he arrived at the caravan park inebriated looking for a taxi fare.
'However, whilst there he took advantage of an opportunity to rape a woman who was lying asleep while she was on medication,” said Judge Hunt.
Mr Justice Hunt ordered the man to stay away from the injured party and her family for five years post-release and to be under the supervision of the Probation Services for 12 months.
He praised the injured party saying “She did the right thing by going to the gardai.”