Man given five life sentences for rape to hear outcome of sentence appeal in October

A Polish man must await the outcome of his appeal against the five life sentences imposed on him for the rape and sexual assault of a woman.

Edward Piotrowski (aged 48) told his victim during the two-and-a-half-hour attack that he was going to kill her, her partner and his daughter.

The trial heard that he tied up the woman's partner with rope and tape and sexually assaulted her in front of him before taking the victim to another room where he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex.

In January 2010, Piotrowski, formerly of Edenderry Co Offaly, was sentenced to five concurrent life sentences by Mr Justice Peter Charleton after he was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the attack on November 25, 2007.

The five life sentences, which Piotrowski is serving simultaneously, were imposed on three counts of rape, one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment of the woman. He had denied the charges.

Piotrowski was also jailed for concurrent terms of 10, five and 10 years for aggravated burglary and assault and false imprisonment of the man. He had pleaded guilty to the assault charge but not guilty to the false imprisonment and aggravated burglary. All the sentences were backdated to November 2007.

In April of this year the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld Piotrowski’s conviction after finding there was "no legitimate basis for overturning the jury's decision”.

Counsel for Piotrowski, Mr Bernard Condon SC, today (Monday) told the court that the focus of the sentence appeal was on the life sentences and whether or not it was appropriate in this case to impose an “extraordinary” five life sentences.

He submitted that where such a sentence is imposed it was “quite clear” that there should be an explanation from the trial judge of how the case falls in to the exceptional category of cases where a life sentence is warranted.

Counsel argued that the trial judge did not explain why he had taken this “exceptional step” and this was an error in principle.

Mr Condon said there was a lack of proportionality in the sentence imposed and there was an issue as to whether or not the sentence properly took in to account all of the bases for imposing criminal sanction, which were not just punitive, but were also concerned with deterrence, protection for the community and rehabilitation.

Mr Eanna Mulloy SC, for the State, told the court that Piotrowski had pleaded not guilty and there was a “complete and utter rejection of the jury verdict” in a manner that was “quite aggravating”.

He said all the issues in the case had been gone through in detail at the trial.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke, presiding at the Court of Criminal Appeal, said in all circumstances the court proposed to reserve its judgement and would hope to return judgement in the earliest part of the next court term, which begins in October.

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