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Monday, March 27, 2023

‘I will never forget the terrifying day’, says woman sexually assaulted by partner

A woman who was sexually attacked at knifepoint by her partner said it was very convenient for him to have no memory of his actions and she wished she was able to forget it too.

Garda Muireann Byrne gave evidence against the accused man who carried out the crimes back on October 25 2014 and more recently pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm and sexual assault on his then partner.

Garda Byrne said the accused returned home at 5am in an intoxicated condition on the occasion. Shortly before noon, there was an argument and he got extremely angry and told his partner to go back to the bedroom.

He punched her in the face and he started ripping off her clothes. She ran from the house in fear.

“He dragged her from the front gate up the rocky drive to the house causing her to bleed. She tried to calm him down.

“He told her, ‘Don’t try and run away from me, I have a knife’,” Garda Byrne said.

He sexually assaulted her at knifepoint and said, ‘I know I am going to jail for this’. He said he did not know why he was doing this. He then put the knife to his own throat and threatened to take his own life.

The injured party managed to calm him down and got him some beer. At one stage she pretended to go to the toilet and escaped, driving off in the car outside the house.

Afterwards the accused admitted himself for psychiatric treatment which he received over the following two months. He then fled to the UK and was ultimately arrested there on a European arrest warrant.

Victim impact statement

Garda Byrne read the victim impact statement on behalf of the injured party:

“An argument broke out … and he got very aggressive and it eventually resulted in me being assaulted very badly and sexually assaulted while he threatened me with a knife.

“I will never forget the terrifying day I was attacked in my own home as I begged and screamed for help.

“I didn’t think I would get out alive. I remember the fear and helplessness and the uncertainty about how it would all end for me. I was so glad the children were not in the house at the time.

“For the first year or so I became paranoid and I distanced myself from friends because of the distrust and fear I felt. I became depressed and angry for a long time afterwards.

“You (the accused) have said you did not remember what you had done to me. How convenient. I wish I had the same convenience of not remembering but this is something I will always remember at the back of my mind.

“I find it hard to trust men and I have never been in a relationship since. I would like to have no have further contact with the accused and I would like to continue to take care of my children in peace.”

She concluded by thanking Garda Muireann Byrne, Garda Catherine McCarthy and Sergeant Derek Mulcahy, family, friends and Support After Crime Services.

Guilty plea

Ray Boland defense senior counsel submitted that the plea of ​​guilty was of significance, sparing the injured party the necessity of the matter going to trial.

“He has a very serious history of abuse of alcohol and other substances. These had a huge bearing on the offenses in 2014.

“Now a 38-year-old man, at the time he was in a very bad way with his mental health. He had an attempted suicide earlier in 2014. He used a serious amount of alcohol and other substances in the days before this incident.

“He has no memory of the incident but takes full responsibility. He was suffering auditory and other hallucinations. When he was taken to prison (in the UK) he was prescribed methadone.

“He is genuinely remorseful. He has no contact with his children through his own fault.

“He is much less likely to offend when he is an older, more mature man,” Mr Boland submitted.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath said he would impose sentence on the accused on March 10 at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

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