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Man who raped his friend in her bed is jailed for four years

By Declan Brennan & Brion Hoban

A young man who raped his friend in her bed four years ago has been jailed for four years.

The victim, who was 22 at the time, told gardaí that she woke up in her bed to find the then 25-year-old raping her.

The man had come over to her house the previous evening and gotten drunk before following her to her bedroom after she went to bed.

Last July he pleaded guilty to rape at a place in Dublin city on March 1, 2017.

Lawyers for the man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s anonymity, told the Central Criminal Court that his guilty plea was on the basis of being reckless as to whether or not the woman was consenting.

Garda James Wall told the court that the complainant and the defendant knew each other since their early teens and on the night in question he and another man called to her home and stayed until the early hours.

After the second man left the woman agreed with the defendant that he could sleep on the sofa downstairs.

She then went upstairs to her own bed and he texted her “I’m coming up, nothing will happen, I swear, on my way”.

The woman replied with his name and a question mark. The defendant arrived in her bedroom and began kissing the woman and taking her top off.

She told gardaí later that she was afraid to tell him to stop because of his strength and “what he might do”.

He tried to penetrate her but she protested and he stopped, the court heard.

The victim later awoke in her bed to find herself naked and the defendant “thrusting in and out” of her. She was shocked and the defendant asked her if she wanted him to stop.

The court heard that the complainant didn’t consent to sex and only “went along with it” earlier when “he wouldn’t stop molesting her”.

The man texted her the following day saying “can we put last night down to alcohol and me being an absolute dickhead” and “I’m so sorry”.

He also said “maybe a little more sober next time” and she replied to him saying “that will never happen; I said no, I said no and I woke up to find you on top of me”.

She added that she “probably couldn’t count the number of times I said no last night” and he replied “I’m really sorry”.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott acknowledged that the plea to rape was accepted by the State on the basis that the man had been reckless, but said the “possibility of her not consenting occurred to” the defendant.

The judge said that the man “did not have the same moral culpability as someone who knew with certainty that a person is not consenting”, but that there was “significant risk that consent was absent” and that as such the defendant had violated her rights and “body integrity”.

Mr Justice McDermott said the woman’s life had been deeply impacted by the rape and has since been prescribed medication for depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She had said the suggestion that she had consented to sex with the man “made her physically sick”.

He noted that the woman was “distressed by the process of making a statement and the garda investigation” and has since engaged in counselling and therapy.

Mr Justice McDermott took into account the fact that the accused had raped the woman while he was a guest in her home and as such violated that home and her sense of security in it. He said this represented a breach of trust.

He acknowledged the plea of guilty, an expression of genuine remorse, a lack of relevant previous convictions, a good work history and the fact that the man is on medication for depression and anxiety.

Mr Justice McDermott sentenced the man to four and a half years with the final six months suspended for two years on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for that time.

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