2nd Jul, 2022

Rapist who didn't take 'no' for an answer jailed for seven-and-a-half years

Editorial Correspondent 24th Feb, 2018 Updated: 25th Feb, 2018

A man who raped a young woman at his parents’ home after he ‘refused to take no for an answer’ has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Sean O’Donoghue had denied raping the young woman – but after more than nine-and-a-half hours a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty by a majority of 10-2.

Jailing O’Donoghue (25) of Calvert Close, Cheylesmore, Coventry, who had been charged with the rape as long ago as 2015, the judge ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.

Prosecutor Lynette McClement had told the jury: “This is a trial about rape. You will hear the complainant say she had non-consensual sex with this defendant.”

The offence came to light after the young woman went to her parents’ home on the day after she had been raped and told her mother what had happened.

She was persuaded to go to the police, and in a video-recorded interview she revealed it had taken place when she was with O’Donoghue in his room at his mother’s home.

The young woman said she was lying on the bed fully clothed when he began to ‘spoon’ her, and she pushed him away.

“He has persisted, and she’s told him to get off, but he held her tighter, and she tried to push him away,” said Miss McClement.

“Mr O’Donoghue tells her to shut up and turns her onto her back. She tried to push him away, but he held her hands down.

“He must have known she didn’t want to have sex, because she was fighting him.”

The young woman said she shouted out, believing that O’Donoghue’s mother and her partner were downstairs – but in fact they had gone out, said Miss McClement.

“He used one of his hands to restrain her and one to pull down the jeans she was wearing.

“Once he had pulled her underwear down she stopped struggling and gave up. She knew it was going to happen. They had sex.

“She said that afterwards he just lay on the bed and watched television. She was crying. She is absolutely clear that she told him to stop, and that she said no.”

When O’Donoghue was arrested, and again during the trial, he denied forcing himself on his victim, claiming they had had consensual sex.

After the jury returned its verdict, Miss McClement revealed: “This is a young man who has a conviction for malicious communication, which involved threats to the complainant’s family via social media. Other than that, he’s a man of good character.”

Laura Cullen, defending, said: “A long time has elapsed since this offence. He now knows he will be facing a significant custodial sentence.

“He will now have a number of years to reflect on his past behaviour. Throughout this case he has suffered the anxiety of waiting to know his fate.”

Jailing O’Donoghue, Recorder Anupama Thompson told him: “You have been convicted by this jury of one count of rape.

“She made it clear to you she did not want sexual intercourse with you, but you would not take no for an answer.

“She has had to give evidence in this case about what it was you subjected her to.”

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