Sex at­tacker:

Foreign na­tional, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, at­tacked three women Judge de­scribes at­tacks car­ried out over five-year pe­riod as pri­mal and bru­tal

The Irish Times - - Front Page - DE­CLAN BREN­NAN

A man con­victed of car­ry­ing out pre­med­i­tated, at­tacks on women over a five-year pe­riod has been jailed for 18½ years:

A fa­ther of two con­victed of car­ry­ing out pre­med­i­tated, ran­dom at­tacks on women over a five-year pe­riod has been jailed for 18½ years.

Judge Pauline Codd de­scribed the vi­o­lent at­tacks on three women by the 34-year-old as pri­mal and bru­tal and said “he is clearly a dan­ger­ous man”.

The man at­tacked three women in 2011, 2015 and 2016 at lo­ca­tions around Clon­dalkin in south Dublin. Two of the at­tacks in­volved a sexual assault and took place late at night as the women walked home af­ter a night out.

In the last at­tack, car­ried out in broad day­light as the vic­tim, Ruth Maxwell, was walk­ing to the Luas to go to work, the man put a hunt­ing knife to the woman’s throat.

This at­tack took place on Knock­meenagh Lane, Clon­dalkin, not far from the other two at­tacks and near a house oc­cu­pied by the fam­ily of the man’s part­ner. Two of the vic­tims can­not be iden­ti­fied for le­gal rea­sons.

At Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court, a jury of 11 men found the man guilty of car­ry­ing out the three at­tacks.

The judge said that the at­tacks were very se­ri­ous and there was an es­ca­la­tion in vi­o­lence over the three at­tacks. She said the vi­o­lence was bru­tal and pri­mal in na­ture. She said the man, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, had shown no re­morse. She said the at­tacks were pre­med­i­tated and the in­volve­ment of a leather belt, a hunt­ing knife, duct tape and cable ties were ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors.

She im­posed con­sec­u­tive sen­tences of eight years, 9½ years and five years. She sus­pended the fi­nal four years on con­di­tion that he suc­cess­fully com­plete any sex of­fender pro­grammes as di­rected by the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice.

Róisín Lacey SC, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court that it was the view of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions, based on the ev­i­dence, that the man posed a risk to the pub­lic.

The first at­tack took place late at night on Septem­ber 11th, 2011 as the vic­tim was walk­ing home from a night out. The man dragged her to the ground and sex­u­ally as­saulted her.

Punched

She man­aged to get away from him, but he caught her and punched her around the face.

In the sec­ond at­tack, on Septem­ber 3rd, 2015, a woman was walk­ing home late at night when he came up be­hind her and put a leather belt around her neck and pulled her back­wards to the ground. He wrapped duct tape around her face and hands be­fore sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her.

The third at­tack was car­ried out on the early morn­ing of May 16th, 2016. The vic­tim, Ms Maxwell, was walk­ing along Knock­meenagh Lane when the man, armed with a hunt­ing knife, put his arm around her neck and be­gan to pull her back­wards.

Ms Maxwell told the court that she thought the man was go­ing to slit her throat and she grabbed the blade, caus­ing the knife to cut ten­dons in three of her fin­gers. She man­aged to get out from un­der the knife and be­gan scream­ing and he ran off.

He was iden­ti­fied af­ter de­tec­tives used CCTV cam­eras to track a white van spot­ted near the scene of the 2016 at­tack.

The judge praised the “ex­cel­lent work” of the Garda in the three sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tions. She also com­mended the courage and dig­nity of the com­plainants, say­ing: “I trust and hope they can re­build their lives.”

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