Man jailed for rape and false imprisonment of his young neighbour

Man Jailed For Rape And False Imprisonment Of His Young Neighbour
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Sonya McLean and Eimear Dodd

A man has been jailed for eight and a half years for the rape and false imprisonment of his young neighbour after they spent an evening drinking together.

The 44-year-old man, who can't be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury last April of rape, oral rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment at his County Sligo home on July 18th, 2019.


Mr Justice David Keane said the “extended nature of the ordeal” that the woman was subjected to is an aggravating feature of the case.

He handed the man sentences of nine years on the rape, oral rape and false imprisonment charges and four years for sexual assault. All sentences are to run concurrently and are to be backdated to April 27th last, when the man went into custody.

Mr Justice Keane noted the man had offered the victim an apology and this was a “glimmer of hope” for his rehabilitation.

He said the court was willing to give the man the “benefit of the doubt”, but this was “not without some hesitation”.


Mr Justice Keane suspended the final six months of the nine-year sentence for two years on strict conditions including that the man attend a sexual offenders treatment programme while in custody, if he is deemed suitable.

Confirmation party

An investigating garda told Vincent Heneghan SC prosecuting, that the then 24-year-old woman had met the accused two months previously at a confirmation party where she was introduced to him and saw him outside his home on occasion.

On July 8th 2019 she had a more significant interaction with him during which he gave her his number, and they agreed to meet and have a beer together later in his home.

That same evening, she contacted him to tell him she was going to the shop if he wanted her to bring anything over to his house later. She got him lager and they drank together in his garden.


The investigating garda told Mr Heneghan that during the evening the woman told the man she had a boyfriend. They had “a conversation about sexual matters” and he suggested to her they have a secret sexual relationship but she “flatly refused”.

They agreed to go to a nearby bar and walked into the local town where they visited two different bars. At around 11pm, they headed back to their housing estate.

The woman later told gardaí that she agreed to go into the man’s home then after initially telling him she didn’t want to go in. She was texting her boyfriend at the time.

She said that in the sitting room the man tried to kiss her but she waved him away. He began to get angry and she then noticed he had locked the front door.



The garda said the woman realised she was trapped in the house and became scared. The man kneeled down in front of her and tried to pull down her leggings while she tried to pull them back up.

She tried to get up but he used his body weight to force her back down again. He then sexually assaulted her by licking her vagina.

She told gardaí that she said she wanted to a cigarette in an attempt to distract him, but he took off his trousers and told her to perform oral sex on him.

The woman later told gardaí that she just zoned out as the man raped her. She said he was hurting her, and she was just wanted to get home.


He left the sitting room and she looked for a way to escape, ultimately climbing out of the sitting room. She was naked and went to a neighbour that she knew nearby.

The garda said the man was arrested the following July but denied that anything had happened. Additional evidence was served in May 2020 after his DNA was found on the woman’s swabs from the Sexual Assault Treatment unit. He again denied any sexual contact with the victim.

At the conclusion of the prosecution's case during the trial, he accepted through his legal team that he had licked her vagina and put his penis in her mouth.

A victim impact statement was handed into the court but not read out. The woman has since left Ireland and is studying in the Netherlands.

Eileen O’Leary SC, defending, said that her client now accepts the jury’s verdicts and acknowledges that he didn’t take sufficient account as to whether the woman was consenting or not.


Mr Justice Keane said the woman had eloquently described the impact of the ordeal she was subjected to by the man and of the legal process. He noted she had experienced “periods of self-blame” that she should have stopped her “careless friendliness” towards the man.

He said the statement was a “testament” to the injured party's “impressive resilience” and wished her well for the future.

Mr Justice Keane noted the age disparity between the man and the victim, and that she was forced to escape by jumping out of a window are other aggravating features. He set headline sentences of ten years in relation to the counts of rape, oral rape and false imprisonment and five years for the sexual assault count.

Mr Justice Keane said it is “confusing” that the man had indicated through his counsel that he accepts the jury's verdicts, but had denied the offences when speaking to the Probation Service and a psychologist. He noted that the man is assessed at medium to high risk of re-offending.

The judge said the man had offered a “bland” expression of remorse and apology to the victim, but had not yet attempted to make any amends. He noted the defendant has 16 previous minor convictions, with none for offences of a violent or sexual nature.

He said he also took other mitigation into account including the man's work history and that he is currently in a relationship.

While no medical report was provided, the judge noted the man appears to have a serious medical condition but this did not provide “significant mitigation as there is no suggestion that medical treatment is unavailable while he is in custody.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at, or visit Rape Crisis Help.   

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