Man Denies Imprisoning And Raping Former Partner In Her Westmeath Home

He locked her and their 3 year old child in the house, before the brutal attack.

A man imprisoned his ex-partner and three-year-old child and threatened to burn the house down before assaulting and raping the woman, a court has heard.

The man pleaded guilty to carrying out a number of offences, including assaulting the woman and fracturing her jaw during the May 2016 incident.

However, he continues to deny he raped her, a Central Criminal Court sentence hearing was told.

He was found guilty of raping the woman by unanimous jury verdict following a trial in December last year.

He will be sentenced on February 24.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman said she had changed since enduring the “horrific” false imprisonment and sexual assault at the hands of her ex-partner.

“I'm not me any more and I don't know if I ever will be again,” she said. “I was at your mercy and you showed me none.”

She said she continues to have nightmares of being raped in a burning home as her child screams “mammy”.

She no longer leaves her home unless she has to, has been unable to return to work and has lost friends who were intimidated by the man, she said. She already dreads him being released from custody.

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's anonymity, pleaded guilty in July 2018 to assaulting the woman, damaging her phone and producing a carjack handle in the course of an assault at her home in Co Westmeath on May 14, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to harassing her between May 14, 2016 and June 30, 2016.

The man stood trial in July 2018 and was found guilty by a jury of falsely imprisoning the woman, threatening to kill her, threatening to burn her house down and producing knives in the course of the assault.

He was found guilty of rape following a separate trial last year.

A local garda told Paul Carroll SC, prosecuting, that the man and woman had been in a relationship and had a child together, before breaking up. The man had spent a number of years in prison during this time, the court heard.

On the day in question, the man arrived at the woman's home saying he had some money for the child, who was also present. He had been drinking and continued to drink vodka while in the house, the court heard.

He started making advances on the woman, which she rejected, and then became “enraged”, the court heard.

He locked all the doors and windows in the house, started punching the fridge and damaging kitchen implements before he threatened to burn the house down with all three of them in it.

He flicked lighter fuel at her in front of the child, as the woman begged him to stop. He then put a bread knife to her face, saying he was going to kill her. He smashed her phone and jumped on it to ensure it was unusable.

The man then started assaulting the woman - beating her with a car jack handle to the face and hitting her with a dog lead – while the upset child repeatedly asked him to stop.

The man eventually stopped and things calmed down temporarily, the garda said. The woman brought the child upstairs to sleep and lay down. The man then came in to the room and raped the woman while their child slept beside them.

As he raped her, he told her: “I'm going to f**k up your insides,” the court heard.

The following morning, the woman managed to get a sim card into another phone in the house and alerted her sister, who came over to the house immediately. The man then fled the scene.

He continued to harass the woman over the following six-week period, phoning her over 100 times. During his trial, he took the stand and told the jury the woman was “having a go at him”.

He has 28 previous convictions, including assault and false imprisonment.

Defence barrister Patrick McGrath SC said that although his client continues to deny raping the woman, he accepts that his behaviour that night was “completely out of order”.

He also continues to deny falsely imprisoning her, threatening to kill her and threatening to burn the house down, the court heard.

The man has not seen his child since he was taken into custody in 2016, which causes him great distress, Mr McGrath said.

He had a troubled childhood which included little contact with his father, who also spent time in prison. He has a history of drug and alcohol issues and has received little to no education.

Mr Justice Michael adjourned the matter to consider sentence.

More from Midlands News

Stay Tuned

Never miss a moment from Midlands 103

  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play
  • Just ask Amazon Alexa