Shaun Hegarty was sentenced today at Londonderry Crown Court to serve 20 years in prison for two counts of rape, grievous bodily harm with intent, attempting to choke with intent to commit an indictable offence and breaching a previously imposed Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
Kirsten McKevitt, a Senior Public Prosecutor in the Public Prosecution Service, said: “Firstly I want to commend the bravery of the victim in this case for coming forward to report her traumatic experience to police. The PPS Serious Crime Unit worked closely with the PSNI to build a strong prosecution case, which resulted in 29 year old Shaun Hegarty being found guilty of two counts of rape, grievous bodily harm with intent, attempting to choke with intent to commit an indictable offence and breaching a previously imposed Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
“This was a particularly violent and horrific attack in which the victim suffered significant physical injuries. The prosecution case included the victim’s account, witness statements and medical evidence gathered by specially trained staff from the Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre. PPS prosecutors worked with these staff and police to ensure the victim was treated with sensitivity and respect at every stage of the process.
“The PPS is committed to working with our criminal justice partners to prosecute robustly sexual offences where the Test for Prosecution is met.
“We understand that going through the criminal justice system can be particularly difficult for victims of sexual offences. I want to encourage them to report their experience to police and reassure them that they will have the benefit of a dedicated prosecution team.”