الاثنين، 25 يوليو، 2016

Man jailed for ten years for marital rape

Man jailed for raping his wife and threatening to kill her
Man jailed for raping his wife and threatening to kill her
A 42-year-old man who raped his wife, threatened to kill her and later beat her with a hammer has been jailed for ten years at the Central Criminal Court.
The court suspended the final two years of a 12 year sentence for the offence of rape.
The man was also sentenced to seven-and-a-half years and five years for what was described as a vicious and cowardly hammer attack on his wife and her mother.
He also received sentences ranging three to five years for making threats to kill and cause serious injury to his wife.
He was also ordered never to directly contact his wife again.
All sentences will be served at the same time.
Last month, the man was found guilty of raping, threatening to kill and threatening to cause serious harm to his wife in May and June 2014, as their marriage deteriorated.
The man had denied the allegations. He pleaded guilty to attacking his wife with a hammer in August 2014.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the crime of rape was "an attack on the bodily and psychological integrity of a woman".
In this case she said the woman's fear was heightened by her natural desire to protect her son who was asleep in the house at the time.
She said the rape was "terrifying" for the woman afterwards leaving her in the "impossible position of trying to ensure her son had access to his father while trying to protect herself".
The judge said she took into account the aggravating factors of the threat of using a weapon, the breach of trust and the fact that the attack took place in the woman's own home.
She referred to the fear he instilled in his wife and referred to her evidence that he insisted that she keep her eyes open during the rape.
She also described the hammer attack as a premeditated, sustained and cowardly attack.
She described his behaviour as "chilling" and said the attack did not stop even when members of the pubic intervened.
The judge said she had to have regard to the very severe and long lasting impact the offences had on the woman and her mother.
In mitigation, the judge took into account a number of factors including the guilty pleas to the hammer attack and the fact that he had no previous convictions and not been violent in his marriage before the relationship deteriorated rapidly in 2014.
The trial last month heard that on the night of 25 May 2014, there was a row as the man’s wife wanted to separate.
She described how her husband threatened to cut her face open with a kitchen knife and ordered her upstairs where he raped her.
She said he threatened to kill her in a phone call the next day and appeared behind her as she went into a supermarket a number of days later and told her the next time he came he would have a hammer.
He is the third man to be convicted of raping his wife since a "marital exemption" in relation to rape was abolished in 1990.
Last week the court heard details of the hammer attack in August 2014 when he called to his wife's mother's house and said he had a present for their son. He took out a paper bag and produced a hammer and hit her on the head.
Both she and her mother tried to stop him getting in but he hit both women with the hammer.
A passer-by set his dog on him and he swung the hammer at the man and his dog before he eventually left.
Both women were treated in hospital for injuries.
Woman told of sense of powerlessness after attack
In her victim impact statement to the court last week, the woman said the night she was raped and threatened with a knife would stay with her forever.
She said the rape left her with a complete sense of powerlessness and affected every piece of her. It was only after her husband attacked her with a hammer weeks later and was taken into custody that she felt safe enough to report the rape.
"I felt so broken and for a long time angry with myself for what I saw as 'letting it happen'," she said, adding that the terror she felt the night of the rape instilled a level of fear she never knew she could feel.
She said deciding to report the rape took five months because it meant admitting to herself what had happened. She said she  still found the word rape hard to use in relation to herself.
She went on to describe her terror at her husband's "absolute determination" to kill her when he attacked her and her mother with a hammer a few months after the rape.
"His cold determination and focus was so clear when he kept hitting me with the hammer even when other people came. I remember trying to pull him away from my Mam and seeing blood all down her face. My memory of being repeatedly hit on the ground with people all around me still leaves me with a feeling of terror.
"The level of violence shown to me and my mam on that day completely changed my outlook on life. It broke a whole sense of security surrounding my life that I never knew was even there.
"I will never forget before I went unconscious, looking down at the door of the room where (my son) slept and thinking whatever happens don't come out, don't see this, I believed in that moment I was going to die."
The woman said the psychological impact cannot be erased and she had lost trust and belief in herself, her judgement and her ability to make decisions. She said she was constantly asking herself how did she not see it coming.
"While everything in my head rationally knows that I have absolutely no responsibility for each and every one of these crimes it is a very different thing to feel it and believe it," she said.
The woman said the events had changed her for a while but and had changed her perspective of life, particularly around safety and security.
"However this experience and these events don't define me, the inner strength and courage that I found which kept me alive during some of those horrendous events and sustained me up to and during this trial gives me and my son a strong foundation for living very positive happy lives."
The man’s defence counsel had asked for a portion of his sentence to be suspended. He read a letter to the court in which the man apologised for the hammer attack on his wife and said his behaviour was inexcusable and out of character.
He said it was in the context of his marriage breaking down and him being denied access to their child. The man did not apologise or refer to the other offences, which he had denied during the trial.
He said he did not wish to justify his inexcusable behaviour in the hammer attack but only wished to provide a brief insight into what was going on.
He said towards the end of 2013 he was made redundant and this had a significantly negative effect on his family which was compounded by his wife's wish for a separation and divorce.
He said being denied access to his son and the efforts he made to calm the situation being rejected added to his feelings of alienation and emasculation.