A man who raped his partner the night she returned home from hospital having just miscarried their child has been jailed for 11 and a half years.
The following month, the man raped the woman a second time while she was doing laundry upstairs and her five-year-old child was downstairs. The man filmed the rape before sending it on to friends.
The 25-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his former partner, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two charges of rape, with a further four sample charges of rape taken into account, on dates between December 2020 and February 2021.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that the man "established a dynamic over the woman which facilitated the rapes", describing the attacks as being carried out with "appalling brutality".
He said the woman was "a vulnerable person" and the rapes were repeated by the man "in the clear knowledge that there was no consent. but it made no difference to him".
The judge noted that of the 34 previous convictions committed by the man, 11 of them related to this woman and included assault and coercive control.
Mr Justice McDermott said the victim impact statement given by the woman, "told me the sense of betrayal, sense of wrong, the humiliation and appalling consequences for her on her family life and her engagement with her children and relationships. It had a devastating impact and she is still recovering".
He said the woman was "very courageous to tell a stranger like myself about these consequences, in a courtroom with others she didn't know" before he added that it was a "powerful" victim impact statement.
Mr Justice McDermott said the offences warranted a headline sentence of 17 years before he took into account the mitigating factors, including the man’s guilty plea and his expression of remorse.
The judge noted however that a probation report before the court suggests there is "a serious issue regarding empathy" but the man has indicated that he is willing to engage in individual therapy.
Mr Justice McDermott imposed an 11-and-a-half-year sentence having taken into account the fact that he has served prison time for previous Circuit Court offences against the woman. He further imposed five years post release supervision, and ordered that the man not contact the woman either directly or indirectly.
A local garda said the man and woman began seeing each other in August 2019 and the relationship became "very serious very quickly", which was "a matter of contention with her family".
The man said he was anxious to have a child with her to provide her daughter with a sibling and she became pregnant very quickly.
The garda confirmed that the woman suffered a miscarriage in December 2020. She was discharged from hospital and was in severe pain. The man brought a number of people back to their home before he left with them and returned again.
He got into bed beside her but she told him she was not in the mood for sex and that she was still bleeding. He said "it won’t take long" before he raped her.
She later told gardaí that she was in a degree of pain and "felt disgusted and dirty" afterwards.
The garda said the following month the woman was doing laundry upstairs when the man came and stood behind her. He began thrusting his hips into her and she told him to stop because her daughter was downstairs.
He said they had a few minutes, before he raped her. He videoed the rape and sent it on to a number of people, the garda confirmed.
The woman felt "extremely exposed and degraded" because of this.
The garda told the court there were a further four incidents that the State were taking into account, on dates between January and February 2021. The rapes were all similar in that it involved the man getting into bed behind her.
She said she was not willing to have sex with him but he ignored her and raped her. She said she thought this happened six or seven times over that period.
In her victim impact statement, the woman told the court how the relationship had happened quickly and there was initial affection, but it changed before long. She said he caused a massive divide between her and her family.
She said he asked her early on to have a baby and she soon fell pregnant. She described the heartache of later losing that baby and being discharged from the hospital.
She told the court how he had made her feel like "a piece of meat" after raping her while she was still heavily bleeding from the birth of their lost child. She said this was the man that was supposed to love, protect and care for her but he did not show any love for her.
She said she repeatedly said no to the accused, but after he took her confidence and self-esteem it was easier to just lay there than fight him off. She asked how someone can say they love you and then force you to perform sexual acts for their pleasure.
She said her life went down a chaotic path and she became dependent on drink and drugs. She said she became a person she had not been before and she is still trying to rebuild her life and supports.
"He told me he loved me but completely destroyed me," she told the court.
Defence counsel, Rosin Lacey SC, handed in a letter of apology and said her client showed acceptance and remorse. She outlined how he is using his time in custody productively and is determined to turn his life around.
He is availing of services in custody and wishes to go on to study at third level.
She asked the court to take into account her client’s guilty plea, which she submitted was early in the circumstances of the case, and a considerable benefit. She said a trial would have been "extraordinarily traumatic" for this particular victim.
She said her client was the subject of an extremely harsh upbringing and his relationship with his parents was vexed and difficult, some of which may have been as result of his own behaviour.
She said her instructions were there was sexual abuse by a third party when he was young but it was never spoken about.
Counsel said her client has been diagnosed with ADHD and is medicated in prison, which has been of benefit. She said when he is off his medication, his behaviour can be erratic and he has difficulties with anger management.
She said she has been instructed not to get a psychological report and said the accused is most anxious to have matter dealt with, accept his punishment and move on as best he can.