Another Rape Victim, a Brave young Woman; Hughes one Evil Bastard? Ireland, becoming, a Unsafe Country for Women?

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‘JUSTICE DONE’ | 

Brave rape victim goes to court to see ‘justice done’ as attacker gets 11 years

The woman speaks to our reporter Eamon Dillon
The woman speaks to our reporter Eamon Dillon
Christian Hughes had previously attacked a teenager
Christian Hughes had previously attacked a teenager

20th October 2022

A woman admitted she wanted to “throw up” being in the same room as sex fiend Christian Hughes after he received an 11-and-a-half year sentence for raping her twice six years ago.

The Laois man, who did not accept the jury’s guilty verdict against him, kicked a door as he was led from the Central Criminal Court this week.

His former partner, who bravely waived her right to anonymity to allow him to be named, told the Sunday World she was “shocked” by the sentence and was “happy with what he got”.

“I didn’t expect double figures, I was expecting five to seven, to be honest with you.

“I didn’t like being in the court room with him because it brought back memories that I didn’t want. The judge went through the whole thing all over again.

“Just being in the same room as him made me want to throw up.

“It does make a difference, now I just feel it’s behind me, no more court appearances. I just feel I had closure [on Monday].”

The woman speaks to our reporter Eamon Dillon
The woman speaks to our reporter Eamon Dillon

“It’s the only reason I went up — my mam said to me ‘why are you going up?’ I said ‘to be honest with you I want to see him being put away’ and that’s it, he’s gone out of my life forever.

“I’m not sure if satisfaction is the right word — I just feel justice is done.

“I don’t think there’s any winners, to be honest. Nobody won, justice is served. At the end of the day, he ruined his own life.

“He’ll get out in eight or ten years and no-one will want to be around him. How will he get a job or anything like that?”

The 41-year-old woman previously told the Sunday World that being in the witness box to give evidence against her attacker “was just as bad” as the assault.

“I felt I was guilty, I felt like I was the one who had committed the crime, not him,” she said.

It was only after the woman had started going out with him that she found out Hughes was on the sex offenders’ register for attacking a homeless 17-year-old girl in 2007.

That previous sex offence was taken into account this week when Justice Kerida Naidoo imposed a 13-and-a-half year sentence for the rapes, suspending the final two years.

Justice Naidoo said there had been a “significant breach of trust” as Hughes had attacked the woman at a place she would have considered as home.

He had made a statement to gardai following his arrest in March 2017, in which he claimed the sexual activity was consensual.

Justice Naidoo said he accepted the prosecution argument that the accused’s previous convictions for assaulting the woman and sexually assaulting another young woman were aggravating factors.

Hughes had shown a “callous disregard” for the victim by raping her for a second time, Justice Naidoo said, which was an additional aggravating factor.

The attack happened in August 2016 in Hughes’ apartment shortly after the couple had a meeting with a social worker.

During her evidence, his victim described how she had told him ‘no’ several times but he continued and, while horrified, she ‘froze a little’ as she tried to resist.

At one point during the second rape Hughes bit the woman on her shoulder. She was eventually able to leave the apartment and immediately called gardai.

The court was previously told that Hughes attacked the woman by head-butting her face in February 2016, while she was pregnant.

He was handed a four-month suspended prison term for this offence in January 2018 on condition that he pay €4,000 to the victim.

A part of that sentence was activated earlier this year as no payment has been made to the victim.

His lawyer told the court Hughes also has a history of depression and has a minor intellectual disability.

Justice Naidoo said there is no evidence to suggest that the defendant has a low ability to discern right and wrong.

A probation report concluded that Hughes is at medium risk of re-offending.

A psychological assessment and the probation report stated that Hughes had been the victim of sexual abuse himself as a child, though gardai do not have a record of any complaint.

In her victim impact statement, which was read out at a previous hearing, the woman said: “People tried to warn me about him. I wish I had listened.

“My life will never be the same again thanks to him.

“He tried to destroy everything good in my life, he even wanted to know who I talked to or met up with.

“I hope he knows the unfixable damage he has done to me. I am not the same person I was. I never will be, thanks to Christian.”

Hughes has been in custody since his conviction in March.

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