A LIMERICK man has been sentenced to 12 and a half years’ imprisonment for punching, kicking and repeatedly raping a woman at her home in the city.
During a retrial at the Central Criminal Court last month, a jury was told the “savage, brutal and prolonged” attack by Alan Hanley, aged 34, formerly of Upper Carey’s Road only came to an end when the woman ran naked from her house wearing only a towel and a throw while her attacker tried to turn off a smoke alarm.
The alarm, the court heard, went off because Hanley was burning cut up pieces of a rug on which he had ejaculated during the attack.
Throughout the trial, Hanley had pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape at a house in the city on the night of May 4 and 5, 2012.
He had admitted assaulting the woman causing her harm on the same occasion.
During a sentencing hearing this Thursday, Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy imposed the maximum possible sentence of five years in relation to the assault charges saying it was hard to envisage a more serious attack. “He terrorised her for more than an hour, putting her in real fear of her life,” she said.
She sentenced Hanley to 12 and a half years’ for each of the rape offences.
Hanley, the court heard, has previous convictions for a number of violent crimes, including possession of a knife in 2000 and threats to kill in 2007 and 2008. He was convicted of intimidating a witness in his own 2008 case.
At the time of the attack the victim had been seeking treatment for abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs. The court heard her rehabilitation attempts were set back after the attack but she had made significant progress more recently.
She suffered from nightmares which left her terrified to sleep and still attends weekly counselling with the Rape Crisis Centre. Ms Justice Murphy said the woman had worked hard on her personal growth and self esteem.
The victim had met Hanley some weeks before the attack and there was a sexual element to their relationship, the court heard. Two nights before the rape Hanley and the victim had a serious falling out.
Sergeant Andrew Lacey said on the night of the attack Hanley went to the woman’s house and began punching and kicking her when she answered the door. He continued to attack her until she was lying in a ball by the fireplace.
He then tore all her clothes off and raped her on the rug before dragging her by her hair into a shower where he “hosed her down”, the court heard.
She tried to escape but he caught her and raped her a second time and dragged her into the shower again. He dragged her downstairs where he raped her a third time.
After the third rape Hanley ejaculated and some of this went on the rug. He became enraged and started cutting up the rug and began burning these cut up pieces in the fireplace.
He also burned all her underwear and other clothing, telling her “they’ll get no evidence here”.
During the sentencing hearing Hanley, who dismissed his legal team after his conviction, repeatedly shouted at the judge that he was not a rapist and called the victim a liar. “You’re making me out to be an animal,” she shouted.
Ms Justice Murphy warned him that she would sentence him in his absence if he continued to shout.
She told him he has a constitutional right to appeal the conviction. Hanley shouted that he would be appealing.
Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, told the court that the State has a duty to present mitigation on behalf on a accused who was representing himself. Mr However, he told the court that the State had found no relevant evidence of mitigation.