A recovering alcoholic from Donegal, who bought his partner an engagement ring and then raped her on the same day, has been jailed for eight years.

The accused pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, aggravated sexual assault and assault of the woman in their Donegal home on August 17, 2008.

Judge Paul Carney jailed the accused for eight years for rape and aggravated assault and six months for common assault to run concurrently.

He also suspended the final two years and ordered that the accused be supervised for 18 months after his release.

The court was told the man and his partner were both recovering alcoholics.

She said they had bought an engagement ring on the day of the assault and the man returned home at 3am with a bottle of vodka and forced this into the woman’s mouth and committed the assaults.

She sustained very heavy bruising around her face and eyes. She waited at the house until the accused fell asleep and she then escaped.

The woman, who was not in court, filed a victim impact statement which stated that she is now “virtually a recluse”.

She said she has “flashbacks and nightmares” of her ordeal and has gone from being a friendly woman to a nervous person. She is not able to form relationships with men and cannot be alone with a man.

The court heard an apology from the man.

Mr Grehan noted that the accused had pleaded guilty in advance of the trial date. He said that his client has no previous convictions for sexual offences or any serious violence.

The court also heard the accused told gardaí he had been abused himself when he was younger.


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