Barry Roche, Irish Times, February 1, 2013
A man who laughed in a woman’s face as he pinned her to a bed and raped her and then told her that he was HIV positive and had hepatitis C has been jailed for nine years with two years suspended.
Lovemore Dube (25), who was born in Zimbabwe, has a South African passport and came to Ireland in 2005, pleaded guilty to raping the woman in her home in Cork, and to the theft of house keys, on July 23rd, 2012.
At the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Carney said Dube had abused the woman’s hospitality by returning to rape her when she was alone in the house less than an hour after she and her fiancé had invited him in for coffee as it was raining.
“When he was left alone with his victim, he effected a long, gratuitously violent and gratuitously insulting rape which left the victim severely injured and severely traumatised,” Mr Justice Carney said.
In addition to the physical injuries and emotional distress she suffered as result of the rape, Dube had added to her trauma by telling her he was HIV positive and had hepatitis C. She had to wait several stressful days before test results came back to show she was clear.
Mr Justice Carney noted the impact that the crime had on the woman, in particular the fact that it had happened in her own house where she was entitled to expect “safety and sanctuary”. He also noted her distress when she learned Dube had been found with her house keys.
He said he believed nine years was the appropriate sentence for the rape but he was mandatorily obliged to take account of Dube’s guilty plea at the first available opportunity at the Central Criminal Court so he suspended the last two years of the sentence.
He also sentenced Dube to three years for the theft of the house keys to run concurrently with the rape sentence.
He backdated both sentences to August 1st, 2012, when Dube was taken into custody in relation to the offence.
Earlier this week, the woman, in her victim impact statement, told how she feared that Dube was going to kill her when, after biting her on her breasts, he put his hands on her neck and began to choke her as he raped her in the bedroom of her house.
“I couldn’t breathe as I was being strangled and I thought I was going to die. I didn’t want to die like this and I thought his face would be the last thing I would ever see in this life. I felt I was seconds from death and I couldn’t do anything about it.
“I thought I would never see my lovely family again and never see the love of my life again. I dreaded my family finding me dead like this and worried about the trauma they would go through.
Prayed to God
“I prayed to God, Our Lady, the angels and my late grandmother to save me.
“His eyes looked evil and they bored into me and he seemed to enjoy my suffering as he kept laughing. I felt humiliated, powerless, and his smell repulsed me.”
The woman told in her statement how Dube slapped her and called her “a bitch” and “a slut” during the rape.
She told how she managed to get enough breath to ask him how he would feel if somebody did that to his mother or sister and she managed to distract him and get him off and push him out of the house and lock him out.
“My relief was short-lived as he then started screaming outside the house that he was going to smash in the front window and finish me off like he should have . . . I was again terrified for my life and felt all alone and helpless.
“Every time I read or hear about a woman who has been raped and murdered, I know the terror they have gone through and I relive the vicious rape again,” the statement added. “I used to be a happy, carefree, trusting person before the rape. I don’t know if I will ever be that person again.”