Wedding rapist gets prison term

AN ARGENTINIAN man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for the brutal rape and sexual assault of a mother-of-two at a wedding party last August.

Omagh Crown Court judge Mr Justice Hart, sitting in Belfast, told 21 year-old Gabino Matilla, with an address at Drumcairne Road in Stewartstown, that his "loss of self-control because of excessive drinking cannot excuse his behaviour in any way".

Matilla had pleaded guilty to one sample count of rape to cover his attack and sexual abuse of the woman.

Register

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life and was told that, although he wishes to return to Argentina upon his release, he will nevertheless be deported.

Mr Justice Hart said that Matilla and the woman had been guests at a wedding party on August 12 last year.

Shortly after midnight, the young man offered to show the victim a swimming pool in the grounds.

However, having done so, he turned on the woman, hitting and punching her as he dragged her away by the hair.

Taking her to a nearby building, he then raped her, sexually abused her, then raped her again.

On one occasion, she attempted to escape, only to be grabbed by Matilla, who again sexually assaulted her.

When he did eventually let her go, the woman returned to the party, complaining to a number of guests that she had been raped.

Apprehended

The police were alerted and they caught Matilla as he attempted to escape in a stolen car which had stuck in the grass.

Mr Justice Hart said that impact reports on the woman show that she has been left traumatised by her ordeal and whilst it was hoped her psychiatric condition will improve, "the effect of the injuries upon her are therefore of particular seriousness".

In mitigation, said the judge, was Matilla's guilty plea, thereby saving his victim the further trauma of giving evidence.

However, he could not receive the maximum credit for the plea as it came, not at interview, but just before his trial started.