A Sligo man who raped a woman he had just met on Tinder has been jailed for nine years.
Christopher Feeney (59) was found guilty of four counts of raping and sexually assaulting the woman at his home address at Millbrook, Riverside, Sligo on April 26, 2015, following a Central Criminal Court trial last September.
During the attack, described by Mr Justice David Keane as an “ordeal” that continues to “haunt” his victim, Feeney told the woman that nobody could hear her screams as she cried and begged him to stop.
Feeney fled the jurisdiction while gardaí were awaiting instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. He was arrested in the UK in 2019 and brought back to Ireland. He has been in custody since then.
Feeney pleaded not guilty to one count of rape, one count of oral rape, two counts of sexually assaulting the woman and one count of false imprisonment. He was found guilty on all counts except for the false imprisonment charge, which the jury was unable to agree on.
The judge noted that Feeney has shown no remorse, made no amends and has not embarked on any rehabilitation because he continues to deny his crimes.
In a victim impact statement handed into court and read out by counsel, the woman said she has never told her family what happened to her as she is so ashamed.
Mr Justice Keane had previously adjourned the sentence after indicating that he would impose a nine-year sentence. He said he wanted a report from the Probation Service to ascertain if he could suspend any of that sentence.
The judge noted that there was no supporting evidence to Feeney’s assertions about his current family support, his previous history of employment, his former addiction to alcohol or his rehabilitation from that addiction.
He said that these factors could reduce Feeney’s risk of re-offending but because there is no supporting evidence to his claims “very little weight can be placed on it”.
Mr Justice Keane said he was therefore not in a position to suspend any of the sentence.
He imposed concurrent sentences of nine years for each the rape and oral rape and two concurrent terms of four years for each of the sexual assault offences, resulting in an effective nine-year jail term. He also imposed a three-year post release supervision order and Feeney was registered as a sex offender.