21 December 2023

~2 minutes read

Former Defence Forces member jailed for nine years for college student rape in Galway

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Former Defence Forces member jailed for nine years for college student rape in Galway

A former member of the defence forces who raped a college student in a Co Galway apartment has been jailed for nine years

The 29-year-old man, who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of his victim pleaded guilty to one count of rape of the 20 year old woman on November 1st 2019.

The court was told the man, who was 25 and serving in the defence forces at the time, carried out a ‘violent and degrading’ rape and assault of the college student who said she did not know ‘if she would be able to get out alive’

The incident occurred over one night and involved the man raping, sexually assaulting and assaulting the woman, including repeated choking.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said while she survived, she now has to ‘fight’ the shame faced by many victims of rape and assault.

Imposing sentence yesterday, Mr Justice David Keane described the rape as ‘violent and degrading’ and said it fell on the ‘upper end of more serious offences’

He acknowledged the man’s guilty plea and that he was of previous good character, with no previous convictions and ‘exemplary’ military service.

The judge also agreed there is no suggestion of premeditation and he also accepted that an apology had been received by the victim.

Following the incident after a night out in Galway city, the woman was taken to a sexual assault treatment unit, before being transferred to hospital for treatment for injuries

Cathleen Noctor, defending, said ‘the events of the night in question are undeniably horrific’, and that her client is ‘consumed with guilt and shame’

The judge sentenced the man to 11 years’ imprisonment, but suspended the final two years on strict conditions.

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