Limerick man given 10 year sentence for rape

A Limerick man who raped a Tipperary woman in her home has been jailed for 10 years by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court.

Roger Ryan (aged 31) of Clonlong Caravan Site, O'Malley Park, Limerick was found guilty by 10-2 majority at a trial in Clonmel in January to raping the woman on June 16, 2006 in a County Tipperary town.

Mr Justice Carney registered Ryan as a sex offender and ordered that he undergo five years post release supervision.

He said it was "a highly aggravating factor" that Ryan had broken into this woman's house in the middle of the night and said that the defendant's hopes for the future were "somewhat hollow" considering his 85 previous convictions.

Garda Sharon Moloney said Ryan's previous convictions included kidnap, assault, burglary, theft and criminal damage offences. She said Ryan disputes a further recorded conviction for a threat to kill.

Gda Moloney told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Coffey SC (with Mr Vincent Heneghan BL) that the jury heard evidence that the rape happened after Ryan broke into her house in the early hours of the morning.

Two other men who where there left the house and Ryan went to the woman's bedroom, punched her in the face and raped her. When he left the house later she went to her mother's home and gardaí were contacted.

Gda Moloney said she arrested Ryan some time later in Limerick. He denied raping the woman but said he had sex with her on previous occasions. Some time later he approached her again outside a courthouse and said he had sex with the complainant on June 16, 2006.

Gda Moloney agreed with defence counsel, Mr Brendan Nix SC (with Mr Jack Hickey BL), that Ryan "also claims he had no hand, act or part" with the false imprisonment conviction against him and was contesting it.

The woman told Mr Justice Carney that the rape had seriously affected her and that recently she had felt suicidal.

She said she now suffered panic attacks and feared for her safety at home. She also feared going out in case she might meet Ryan or his family.

Mr Nix told the woman that Ryan asked him to tell her he was "heartily sorry" and apologised for his action.

Mr Coffey told Mr Justice Carney that the Director of Public Prosecutions considered the crime to be at the upper end of the scale for sentence because of the break-in and the violence he used.

Mr Nix said he hoped sometime to appear in a case in which "the DPP will say he puts the crime at the lower end of the scale for sentence". He submitted that this case wasn't at the higher end of the sentence scale because there was no weapon used and there were two other people in the house when Ryan came in.

Mr Nix said Ryan couldn't read or write and had got assistance to send a letter to the court in which he again apologised for raping the woman and said that when he completed whatever sentence was imposed for this he would change his life and never come before the court again.

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