Man who raped girlfriend while she slept given 15-month sentence

Tuesday 15 March 2016 22.38
Magnus Meyer Hustveit was originally sentenced to seven years, all of which was suspended
Magnus Meyer Hustveit was originally sentenced to seven years, all of which was suspended

The Court of Appeal has handed down a 15-month sentence  to a man who regularly raped and sexually assaulted his girlfriend while she slept.

The Appeal Court ruled that a wholly suspended seven-year sentence imposed by the Central Criminal Court was unduly lenient.

Magnus Meyer Hustveit, 26, was sentenced to seven years last July after pleading guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault of a 28-year-old woman in Dublin between 2011 and 2012.

However Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy suspended the entire prison sentence after saying it was a very exceptional case.

Hustveit, a Norwegian man with a previous address at Leo Street, North Circular Road, sent an email to his former partner, Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill, and told her he had been using her body for his "gratification" for nearly a year.

Ms Ní Dhomhnaill waived her right to anonymity to allow Hustveit to be named.

The appeal court said the trial judge was in error in suspending the entire sentence and set that sentence aside.

This afternoon the court said the seven-year sentence should stand but it would suspend all but 15 months of it.

The court accepted submissions from Hustveit's lawyers that he could not have been extradited to Ireland and said his voluntary return for the appeal and sentence review was a matter of particular significance. 

Mr Justice George Birmingham said Hustveit was "amenable to the court today because he chose to make himself amenable.

"It is particularly of note that he did so at the sentence review stage when his attendance could not have been compelled."

He said the court was required to sentence someone who came to court and left for his homeland having been told he would not have to serve a sentence, and then returned voluntarily.

It was appropriate that he receive a lesser sentence than what would have been appropriate in the original sentencing court, the judge said.

"What happened since means that this court can go to a point lower than what was available to the sentencing judge."

The court refused an application by the prosecution to submit an updated victim impact statement.

The judge said it was a review court and did not usually take evidence.

In court today his lawyers had appealed for leniency saying his attitude to this case had always been one of 100% cooperation. 

They said he and his current partner had suffered from the high level of publicity the case attracted and one Irish person had written to his employer in Norway calling for him to be fired.

They said he had a job, his employer was aware of this case, and the job was still available.

Hustveit was led away to begin his sentence.

Ms Ní Dhomhnaill left court without making any comment.

A friend said she needed time to consider the court's decision.