A man who raped, assaulted and forcibly controlled a woman during a six-week relationship has been jailed for 17 years.
n On various occasions Dean Ward (36) sprinkled mace on the woman’s face, tied her up, strangled her and then raped her, threatened her with a hammer and punched her in the face. He controlled her access to friends and family, took over her online banking and monitored her whereabouts and her mobile phone, and removed her contraceptive device while she slept.
Justice Kerida Naidu at the Central Criminal Court on Thursday morning suspended the final year of her 18-year sentence for the most serious rape offence. They put together a four-year term for the offense of coercive control, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Speaking outside the courtroom, the woman said she felt trapped in fear, but received “amazing support” from the time she turned to Gardai for help.
She said she hopes her case will encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to seek help and confide in someone. She said that she believes that by locking the ward, she has saved other women from similar suffering.
Ward, also known as Dean Alexander Fox, was previously jailed for four years in November 2015 for falsely imprisoning and assaulting a young mother. Ward and the woman met on Internet dating website Plenty of Fish and Ward attacked on their third date. In the woman’s own house.
Garda Superintendent Karen Duffy said the crime of coercive control is relatively new and she would encourage any woman or man to get into an abusive relationship.
Ward, formerly Ballintalia, Holyfort, White, used a different name when he first met his victim. He was earlier this year on trial for the dates between June 11 and July 17, 2019, for assault, false imprisonment, threatening to kill, two counts of production of goods, three counts of rape and four counts of coercive control. was later convicted.
The crimes occurred during the six-week period between the woman meeting the man for the first time in May 2109 and her arrest by armed guards at her home in July 2019. Ward does not accept the jury’s decision and continues to maintain. his innocence. He is in custody since his arrest on 17 July 2019.
Mr Justice Naidu said the rapes took place in a controlled relationship and consent was not freely given. Consent for intercourse was obtained out of fear in the circumstances of having sex with the woman before the rape or fear as a result of the cumulative effect of Ward’s behavior over time, he said.
He said the first crime of rape was aggravated by violence and extreme degradation. After a row Ward broke into the woman’s house, punched her in the face and said he was going to kill her.
He took her upstairs and took out a knife with which he used to cut a towel and then he used clippers to tie her up and strangled her from behind. Justice Naidu said the woman believed she was going to die and lost control of her bladder. Ward knew the woman had a particular fear of drowning and said he would.
The woman’s horror at this prospect was so great that she offered to take her own life by slitting her wrist, the judge said. Ward then raped her.
Justice Naidu fixed the main punishment for the offense at 18 years, the most serious of all offences. He said there was virtually no mitigation, but he suspended for a year on the condition that Ward would follow the instructions of the probation service after his release.
He served lesser sentences on other crimes, all of which go together.