Man found guilty of rape and sexual assault on bus to Carlow to be sentenced next week

13 February 2018

A man sexually assaulted a foreign student on a bus before he went home with her against her wishes and raped her in the hall of her home, a court has heard.

The 39-year-old Egyptian national, who currently cannot be named at the direction of the judge, told his victim he would “give her the best ten minutes of her life” before he raped her, the Central Criminal Court heard yesterday.

The man was found guilty by a jury of one count of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of threatening to kill the then 27-year-old woman between July 7 and 8, 2016.

The jury in the Central Criminal Court case returned the unanimous verdicts last November following a three-week trial.

The court heard that identifying the man will not identify the victim but that she does not want him named because it will “destroy his life”.

Ms. Justice Isabel Kennedy ordered that reporting restrictions would remain in place for now and that she would deal with the issue at the sentencing date next Wednesday, 21st February.

At his sentence hearing yesterday, the court heard the man, an illegal immigrant, has a previous conviction for masturbating in public in 2013. He exposed himself in front of two women in Harcourt Street in Dublin, Garda Sylvia Ryan said.

The court heard that a deportation order is in place, which he is appealing.

Gda Ryan told prosecution barrister, Pauline Walley SC, that the victim was living and working in Ireland for the summer of 2016. On the day in question, she took a bus from Carlow to Dublin to visit a friend.

She met the accused man on the bus and the pair got talking. They then visited Stephen’s Green together, where the man tried to kiss her. The woman rejected his advances and shortly afterward, said goodbye to him and met her friend at Trinity College.

The victim was returning to Carlow that night and her friend walked her to the bus station. The court heard she was uneasy to discover that the man was going to be on the same bus home.

Gda Ryan said the woman got on the bus first and put her rucksack on the seat beside her, but the man sat beside her anyway. During the bus journey, he sexually assaulted her by groping her, while she tried to fend him off.

The court heard the man then accompanied the woman to her home. “She was extremely unhappy about this,” Ms. Walley said, adding the woman told him to leave. Instead, the man came with her into her house.

He asked to use the bathroom and when he emerged, he started masturbating in front of her, the court heard. When she threatened to take a photo of him, he became angry and started groping her, before they fell on the stairs and he raped her.

“(He told her) he would give her the best 10 minutes of her life,” Ms. Walley said.

The front door remained open throughout the attack. The woman screamed throughout and the man threatened to kill her if she did not stop.

One of her house-mates heard her screaming and came to the landing of the house, where he witnessed the rape. Upon being seen, the man ran out of the house. He was arrested at a later date in Dublin.

In a victim impact statement read out in court by Ms. Walley, the woman said: “The protective layer around me has broken down and I have very little trust in humans.”

She said she was now scared to be on public transport or in public places. As the man was raping her, the woman said: “In that moment, I wished to be dead”.

“After this man raped me, I felt empty, as though nothing mattered.”

The court heard the woman did not wish her attacker to be named as she “doesn’t want to destroy his life anymore,” Ms. Walley said.

The man, who was living with another woman at the time of the rape, maintained throughout the trial that the sex was consensual.

He does not accept the verdicts of the jury and maintains his innocence, the court heard. He has three previous convictions, including two for abusive and threatening behaviour in public.

Colman Cody SC, defending, said his client was a “productive member of society” who arrived in Ireland in 2013 and worked mainly on fishing trawlers.

He has been in custody since his arrest and is a “model prisoner”, Mr. Cody said. He urged the judge to be as lenient as possible.

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