Cummins is one Evil Rapist; Brave young Woman. Cummins, should have got, 10 Years?

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Kildare student jailed for five years for anally raping female friend at party

The victim, while she doesn’t want to be identified in the reporting of the case, has given permission for Cummins to be named.

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO — © Copyright: Karel Miragaya

13th November 2022

A college student who raped a friend while she was sleeping after a house party has been jailed for five years.

Michael John Cummins (22) of Dreenane, Carbury, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty last June to anal rape of the teenage girl at a place in Co Kildare on November 25, 2018. He has no other criminal convictions.

The victim, while she doesn’t want to be identified in the reporting of the case, has given permission for Cummins to be named.

Reading from her own victim impact statement the woman asked Cummins “why did you not plead guilty three years? Why did you not have the courage to admit it?”

She said the fear she felt in the run up to the prospective trial was the most she had ever felt and she considered dropping the case. She said the pleas of guilty were an immense relief because she would not have to “stand up in front of a group of strangers and tell my story”.

The investigating garda told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that the woman and Cummins were in a group of friends who had been celebrating a birthday party earlier in a pub in a Kildare town and had ended up at an “after party” in someone’s house.

The woman had gone to bed on her own and woke up to find Cummins anally raping her.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott noted from the victim impact statement that the woman’s life had been “turned upside down within a couple of hours”. He noted she had fear in doing ordinary things and her security and trust in others had been undermined because of the rape.

The judge praised the woman’s “strength of mind and resilience” in continuing to engage with her life, work and studies after the rape.

He noted that the prospect of the upcoming trial took its toll on the woman and the immense relief she experienced when Cummins eventually pleaded guilty, although he acknowledged that the woman couldn’t understand why the man delayed in entering his guilty plea.

Mr Justice McDermott said “the energy of a victim required to deal” with the consequences of such an attack “should not be underestimated”.

He accepted that Cummins has expressed “genuine remorse” for the damage he has caused to the woman and has deep shame. He said his remorse was apparent from his demeanour in court and a letter he had written to the court.

Mr Justice McDermott noted that this type of offence is “violent and humiliating by its nature and requires a custodial sentence” before he imposed a sentence of six years and three months with the final 15 months suspended.

Those 15 months were suspended on strict conditions including that Cummins keep the peace and engage with the Probation Service for two years upon his release from prison and submit himself for assessment for any suitable programme. He was also ordered not to approach or contact the woman either directly or indirectly by any means.

Conor Devally SC, defending, had submitted to the court that Cummins came from a good law-abiding family. At this point Cummins began sobbing in the dock.

Mr Devally said his client had been studying at third level in Maynooth but had dropped out of his course as a result of this prosecution.

The victim told the court that after the rape she didn’t feel safe walking around her own estate and was scared of seeing Cummins. She said she used to be an outgoing person but now found herself anxious and afraid and dropped out of her own college course.

She said she felt stripped of her dignity by someone who “was a friend of mine” and was attacked while in bed asleep, when she should have felt safe.

Mr Devally told the court that his client’s delay in pleading guilty was an immature reluctance to face up to his actions and admit that he was capable of doing what he did.

“To turn to his family and the community and say, all that was said of me, which I denied, was true,” counsel said. Mr Devally said his client feels disgust for himself and his actions and, while he has written an apology to the victim and her family, he does not expect forgiveness.

Counsel handed in testimonials which described Cummins maturing in finally facing up to the offending. He said his client had given up all use of drugs and hardly drinks anymore.

“He is a much shaken, and duly shaken, person,” Mr Devally said. He said Cummins has taken a positive rehabilitative direction since the offending.

The court heard earlier heard evidence that people were smoking cannabis and that Cummins was snorting cocaine.

The woman decided to go to bed and she was given permission to sleep in a single bed in a room belonging to the younger brother of the host.

Cummins ended up asleep on the floor of the host’s bedroom but when the host woke up the next morning he was not there.

The court heard sometime after 7am Cummins got up and went into the room where he knew she was sleeping there alone.

The woman woke up to find her skirt had been pulled up and her underwear taken down and the man was trying to anally rape her. He was struggling and put his fingers inside her before he then did anally rape her.

The woman later told gardai that she started to cry but she was trying to stay quiet because she didn’t know who was raping her and was afraid of what he might do if he knew she was awake.

She said he got rougher and she let out a cry and he grabbed her hair and pulled it back and ejaculated inside her. Cummins began crying as this account was laid out in court.

The woman told gardai that Cummins fell asleep and she turned to look at him and realised it was the defendant. She said she felt confused and scared and didn’t know what to do.

“She didn’t know if she wanted to tell anyone, she didn’t know if people would believe her,” Ms Noctor told the court.

When the host came in to check on her she left the bedroom and told her she had been raped. Cummins was told to leave the house and gardai were called.

The woman was brought to Mullingar hospital for a sexual assault examination, something she told the court nobody should ever have to experience.

Cummins was arrested and denied any sexual contact with the victim. His DNA was later matched to semen to some of the bedding tested by investigators.

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