A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping a 74-year-old woman two years ago.

Anthony Hussey from Ardshillane, Sneem, Co Kerry, had pleaded guilty to two counts of raping the woman on the morning of 20 September 2014.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her identity, said she was left broken, terrorised and sobbing like a small child after the attack.

Today Justice Patrick McCarthy described it as a vicious attack and the most serious of its kind that left the woman deeply traumatised.

Judge McCarthy said he had received a number of reports about Hussey, including one that outlined the accused's sexual behaviour.

It found that Hussey had used a prostitute and had watched hardcore pornography.

He said the appropriate sentence was between 16 and 18 years but taking into account Hussey's guilty plea and other factors he imposed a 13-year prison term.

He also ordered Hussey to undergo five years post-release supervision.

On the morning of the attack the victim walked into her bedroom to find a man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a balaclava.

She screamed and struggled but could not fight him off and he raped her twice.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said her world has been shattered and her life broken.

She said she was "sobbing uncontrollably like a small child, broken, terrorised and waiting for death".

She added that the memory of the incident remains present everyday and she cannot shake off the flashbacks.

Her heart does not stop crying and the core of her being has been reduced to nothing, she said.

During an earlier sentence hearing Hussey "sincerely apologised" to the woman in a letter handed into the court on his behalf. 

His barrister said Hussey understood the horrors he has inflicted and the toll it has taken on the woman. 

A letter of apology from the Hussey family to the woman was also submitted to court, saying the woman remains in their thoughts and prayers.