Rapist withdraws appeal after reminder of Supreme Court decision

Natasha Reid

Reporter:

Natasha Reid

Rapist withdraws appeal after reminder of Supreme Court decision

A man jailed for raping his wife twice in one night has withdrawn his appeal against sentence, after being given a reminder of Supreme Court case law in the area of marital rape.

The 41-year-old man, whose details cannot be published to protect his wife's identity, had previously lost an appeal against his conviction. 

He was found guilty following a Central Criminal Court trial on two counts of anally raping the woman at their County Mayo home on December 18, 2015. 

He was found not guilty by the jury on four other counts of rape on earlier dates in 2015 and there was a direction of not  guilty by the trial judge on a further count.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison, and his appeal against that sentence was due to be heard by the Court of Appeal  this Tuesday.

However, before proceedings began, Court President Justice George Birmingham, presiding with Justice Patrick McCarthy and Justice Isobel Kennedy reminded the appellant through his legal team of recent case law from the Supreme Court in the area of marital rape.

The court was referring to a case in 2018, where the Court of Appeal reduced a man’s 10-year jail term for raping his wife by 18 months.

However, the DPP appealed the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court, which last year found that the lower court had erred.

It found that the Court of Appeal had taken an incorrect legal approach by examining the rape ‘in isolation’ from surrounding circumstances of violent and abusive behaviour. It later reinstated the 10-year jail term on the man, who had not shown any remorse.

In Tuesday's case, the man’s barrister, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, returned to the remote courtroom after consulting with his client, and informed the court that the man wished to withdraw his appeal. The court allowed this application to withdraw.

The rapist’s victim gave evidence during his trial that her husband had arrived home drunk on the night in question. She said she had been watching a film with her daughter, while her son was out socialising. 

The man went up to bed but later came downstairs demanding to have sex. She refused and he raped her as she shouted for help. She said she “thought it was over” as her husband strangled her before he lifted her up by the hair.

He raped her a second time upstairs before she left the house with her children, afraid her husband would follow her. 

Sentencing him to nine years imprisonment, Justice Michael White said the man had taken marriage vows to love and respect the woman whom he described as a “loving and loyal wife”.