A man who raped, assaulted and forcibly controlled a woman over the course of a six-week relationship has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
On separate occasions, Dean Ward, 36, spattered Ms Mace in the face, tied her up, choked her and then raped her, threatened her with a hammer and slapped her in the face. He controlled her access to friends and family, took over her online banking, monitored her whereabouts and cell phone, and removed her birth control while she slept.
At the Central Criminal Court, Judge Kerida Naidoo this morning suspended the last year of an 18-year prison sentence for the most serious rape. He was serving a four-year concurrent prison sentence for a coercive control offense, which has a maximum sentence of five years.
In court, Sinéad O’Neill, from Killybegs, Co Donegal, said she spoke to show others that support was available. She said she felt stuck in fear but received “amazing support” from the moment she asked Gardai for help.
She said she hopes her case would encourage everyone out there in an abusive relationship to seek help and confide in someone. She said she believes she saved other women from a similar ordeal by imprisoning Ward.
Ward of Ballintlea, Hollyfort, Gorey, Wexford was previously sentenced to four years in prison for falsely detaining and assaulting a young mother in November 2015. Ward and this woman had met on the internet dating site Plenty of Fish and Ward assaulted her on their third date at the woman’s own home.
Garda Superintendent Karen Duffy said the coercive control offense is relatively new and she would encourage any woman or man in an abusive relationship to come to Gardai.
Ward, also known as Dean Alexander Fowkes, used a different name when he first met his victim. He was convicted after a trial earlier this year of four counts of assault, false imprisonment, threatening to kill, two counts of fabricating articles, three counts of rape and coercive control between June 11 and July 17, 2019.
The offenses occurred over a six-week period between the woman’s first encounter with the man in May 2019 and his arrest by armed Gardai at her home in July 2019. Ward does not accept the jury’s verdict and continues to maintain his innocence. He has been in custody since his arrest on July 17, 2019.
Mr Justice Naidoo found that the rapes took place in a controlling relationship and that consent was not freely given. He said the woman’s consent to intercourse was secured by fear in circumstances where she had been subjected to violence before the rape or fear as a result of the cumulative effect of Ward’s behavior over time.
He said the first rape offense was compounded by violence and extreme humiliation. After an argument, Ward broke into the woman’s home, punched her in the face and said he was going to kill her.
He took her upstairs and pulled out a knife, which he used to cut up a towel, and then he used the scraps to tie her up and began choking her from behind. Judge Naidoo said the woman thought she was dying and lost control of her bladder. Ward knew the woman had a particular fear of drowning and said he would.
The woman’s fear of the prospect was so great that she offered to take her own life by slitting her wrists, the judge said. Ward then raped her.
Judge Naidoo imposed a principal sentence of 18 years for this offense, the most serious of all offences. He said there was virtually no mitigation, but he was giving a one-year suspension on condition that Ward comply with the instructions of the parole service after his release.
He imposed lesser penalties on the other offenses, all of which were to run concurrently.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-36-who-raped-assaulted-and-coercively-controlled-woman-during-six-week-relationship-jailed-for-17-years-41874370.html Man, 36, who raped, assaulted and forcibly controlled woman during six-week relationship sentenced to 17 years in prison