Young woman with Down Syndrome 'robbed' of future by rapeMonday 18 January 2016 23.41
A young woman with Down Syndrome who was raped has been robbed of her independence and the future she could have had, a sentencing hearing has heard.
Faisal Ellahi, 34, was convicted last December of raping and sexually assaulting the young woman, who is in her 20s.
Giving victim impact evidence at the Central Criminal Court, the woman's mother said her daughter had been innocent, carefree and trusting and was now scared, worried and confused.
She said her daughter had not gone outside the door on her own since she was raped by Ellahi in Dublin on 12 June 2013.
She said her daughter had slept with her for six months following the attack and had several seizures which were diagnosed as being due to serious trauma.
The mother said her daughter had made great strides and had achieved a certain level of independence but that had all been taken away.
The young woman suffered flashbacks and gave up work and no longer went to meet her friends.
During the trial, the jury saw DVDs of interviews with the victim in which she said she became separated from her mother on the street before being stopped by Ellahi.
He took her to his house where the rape and sexual assault occurred.
Following the verdict, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the case was one of the most difficult he had ever dealt with.
Ellahi, who is originally from Haripur in Pakistan, does not accept the jury's verdict.
Senior Counsel Padraig Dwyer said while Ellahi is remorseful about the effect on the victim he still says he did not know the woman had Down Syndrome.
In mitigation today, Mr Dwyer said his client had no previous convictions, would have to suffer the consequences of being in jail in a foreign country and being registered as a sex offender.
The court was told there was no gratuitous violence involved in the offence and Ellahi was a person of limited intelligence, with an IQ of 73.
However, Judge Hunt said the evidence about his limited intelligence was very weak.
The hearing will continue on Monday.
Judge Hunt said if no further reports were required he would deal with the sentence in the following week to ten days.