NewsCourts

Convicted sex offender jailed for sexually assaulting sister-in-law

Rape: The convicted sex offender was sentenced to six years in prison
Rape: The convicted sex offender was sentenced to six years in prison

A 55-year-old convicted sex offender has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning his sister-in-law.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded notguilty at the Central Criminal Court to a total of six counts, including two of rape, and charges of assault causing harm, sexual assault and  false imprisonment at locations in Co. Kerry and Co. Limerick on January 20, 2011.

Last November a jury found the man guilty of two counts - sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning the victim.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy had directed the jury, during the 11-day trial, to return verdicts of not guilty to a charge of oral rape, and two charges of assault causing harm to the woman, who is in her sixties, because he said there was insufficient supporting evidence.

The jury had also found the man not guilty of another charge of orally raping her.

The trial heard that the man showed up at the woman’s house uninvited and got into her home by pretending to be one of her sons.

He pulled her by the hair into her bedroom before punching her in the head, taking off both their clothes and sexually assaulting her by biting her breast.

Mr Justice McCarthy said that the lady was living in an isolated place and was detained in her home with considerable violence and complete disregard for her.

He said it was obvious from the victim impact statement that the offences had  serious consquences for a lady of her age.

“She is afraid of her life to live alone and panics when she hears a car outside. She finds it hard to go outside but is trying to do so little by little. She is up at night and asleep by day,” the judge said reading from the victim impact statement.

Mr Justice McCarthy took into account a number of medical reports before the court in relation to the man and the fact that he has previous convictions for sexual offending.

He sentenced him to six years in prison but suspended the final year of the term, in the hope that “it will afford him some opportunity to rehabilitate”.

Mr Justice McCarthy said as the man was a convicted sex offender society needed to be protected from him.

Angela Mullin and Sonya McLean