April 4, 2011

A  man who raped a Donegal woman in her home after meeting her for the first time the previous day has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

Sean Finn (aged 42) of Colehill, Kinnegad, Co Meath pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape on May 15, 2010.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned the case for sentence next week.

Finn met the then 26-year-old woman the previous night after he joined a group she was in who were drinking in a hotel in Donegal.

He stayed with the group when they had breakfast the following morning and went back to the woman’s house when she and her companion got a taxi there.

Finn later got a taxi with the woman and her friend who were going on to another pub but he got dropped off at hospital to attend for an appointment.

He then turned up at the pub the woman and her companion were in and arrived back at her house later that afternoon.

Detective Sergeant Michael Carroll told Ms Mary Ellen Ring SC, prosecuting, that the woman ordered food to be delivered to her house that afternoon and thought a knock to the door was the delivery man. She saw it was Finn and refused to answer the door.

When the food arrived a short time later Finn was still there and invited himself into her home. He had bought food himself and the two ate together before he leaned in to kiss the woman.

She pushed him away but he kissed her again, more aggressively and she bit his tongue causing him to bleed.

Det Sgt Carroll said Finn was on top of the woman on the couch but she managed to slide out from under him onto the floor.

He grabbed for her and pulled her bottoms down and she banged her head off the wall in the resulting struggle.

Det Sgt Carroll said the woman then grabbed a nearby photo frame and hit Finn with it twice on the head, again causing him to bleed.

He then raped her.

Det Sgt Carroll said when Finn was finished he wiped the blood from his face and told the woman not to tell the gardai. He left the house leaving his bloodied shirt behind.

The woman called gardaí who then contacted the hotel the group had been in the night previously.

They viewed CCTV footage and arrested Finn at his ex-wife’s home later that day.

Det Sgt Carroll said the woman was examined and found to have bruising to both her elbows and knee caps which was consistent with the struggle as she had described it.

Finn later showed gardaí where he had discarded the clothes he had been wearing and made full admissions to them in the subsequent interview.

Det Sgt Carroll said he had no previous convictions.

Ms Ring read the woman’s victim impact report into court in which she described being “very disturbed” by the event.

She stated that she had always been “outgoing, independent and very trusting” but added “he came to my home, took advantage of my trusting nature and raped me”.

She said her personality has since changed and she now “has a short fuse, is irritable and easily upset”. She said she now has no sense of fun and is withdrawn and wants to be left alone.

“The most personal part of my human life has been degraded and demeaned,” the woman stated before she added that she now feels vulnerable and weak.

“It is always on my mind. My whole world has been invaded and it constantly comes into my mind that people know,” she said.

The woman described how she had been attacked in her own home which she said had “previously felt like a safe place”.

“I have had a heinous crime committed against me and now I will always be seen as a victim. I will always have the shadow of this assault over my life,” the woman said.