Man jailed for abducting woman

Published Wednesday, 04 June 2014
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A man who subjected a "resourceful and brave" young woman to a "night of horror" when he abducted her off the street has been jailed for eight years.

Man jailed for abducting woman
The victim was abducted in Dundalk, and taken across the border to Newry. (© UTV)

Jailing 23-year-old Daniel Carroll at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, Judge Kevin Finnegan QC said that to describe the case as "disturbing would be a massive understatement".

"This was a brave and resourceful young woman who underwent a night of horror," said the judge adding that at the time the "world lay at her feet, until she came across the accused".

Carroll, from Francis Hughes Park, Belleeks, Newry had, on what the judge said was a "staggered" basis, pleaded guilty to offences of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault, causing actual bodily harm, driving while banned and without insurance all on 21 December 2012.

Judge Finnegan said the "very attractive young lady" was walking close to the Square in Dundalk, Co Louth in the Republic on her way to meet her boyfriend when she saw a drunk man watching her and crossed the road to avoid him.

He followed her, however, and she was bundled into the back of a car with Carroll repeatedly punching her in the face and head and lying his full weight across her as the car sped off and headed to the car park of the Carrickdale Hotel at Ravensdale also in Co Louth.

The young woman tried to escape, but was hauled back and the car drove over the border into Northern Ireland.

That car was driven by Carroll's accomplice 27-year-old Aileen Gray whose case was deferred until next year to monitor her behaviour.

At one stage, their victim pretended to lose consciousness and hear the couple "discussing what to do with her body if she died".

Judge Finnegan described how Carroll's victim told him she was struggling to breathe, was asthmatic and needed her inhaler - but her pleas fell on deaf ears, adding that at one stage, she "screamed" in an effort to get the attention of passing motorists but to no avail.

"The victim was subjected to an increased level of violence," said the judge, telling the court that Carroll grabbed his victim with one hand while punching her with the other.

When Gray got out and left, Carroll took over the driving and his victim "tried to befriend him," chatting to him and asking questions to "curb his aggression" until they got to Carroll's home where he told her she could "sleep in any room she wanted."

The charge of sexual assault arose when he kissed her in the mouth and rubbed her thigh with his hand - but she pushed it away "and he accepted that" and even offered to give her a lift back to Dundalk.

The woman's ordeal ended - and he was arrested - when Carroll "left her alone for long enough" that she fled the house and managed to summon help from a neighbour.

Turning to the various reports, Judge Finnegan said that "all too often," the circumstances of victims are overlooked before recounting how Carroll's victim had had "distinguished academic progress," a happy domestic life and a boyfriend - but that what happened to her "has destroyed" that academic progress and potentially her career.

"Very courageously she had made strenuous efforts to pick up the pieces of her own life," praised the judge adding: "The physical injuries may have cleared to reveal her as a very attractive young lady - but it is clear...that the psychological effects of this are deeply scarred to this day and may remain with her for the rest of her days."

In relation to Carroll, Judge Finnegan said he had shown genuine "remorse and shame" for what he had done, telling the court he was not assessing him as a dangerous offender because of his previously clear criminal record.

He said it was also to Carroll's credit that he "desisted" in the sexual assault when it was made clear to him that "she was not available or willing to participate in anything of that nature".

Judge Finnegan told Carroll that if he had been convicted after a trial, he would have faced a 12-year jail term but that he was giving him credit for pleading guilty, saving his victim from having to relive her ordeal.

As well as the eight year jail term, split into half in custody and half on supervised licence, the judge also imposed a lifetime Sexual Offences Prevention Order which prohibits Carroll from living anywhere without approval, travelling to the Republic without approval and from being in a car with a female without approval.

He must also complete drink and drug counselling sessions and notify probation of any developing relationships he has.

Carroll was ordered to remain on the police sex offenders register "indefinitely".

Neither his victim nor her family wished to comment on the sentencing.

© UTV News
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