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Man who raped woman in Fermanagh is jailed for nine years

A "remorseless" rapist who attacked a woman in Enniskillen in 2012 has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

James Taggart (20), with an address at Kingsmere Gardens in Londonderry, was jailed at Dungannon Crown Court after being convicted of raping a woman in the Co Fermanagh town.

The court heard how he "throttled" his then 19-year-old victim with one hand and removed her clothing with another before raping her.

The crime was committed while he was out on licence for a serious assault that occurred a year previously.

Prosecution counsel Suzanne Gallagher said Taggart, who was 17 at the time of the offence, raped the young woman after the pair had met up in a bar.

The court heard that both parties had taken drink but Taggart had consumed twice as much as his victim.

They had been kissing and cuddling and the girl had agreed to go back to Taggart's home in a taxi where she agreed to share his bed. However, the victim told him nothing would happen.

He "flipped" when she said she wanted to go to sleep and attacked her. The victim said she was in fear of her life during the rape and assault.

Taggart, who was convicted of rape after a 10-day trial in September 2014, showed no remorse and was still not accepting his guilt, the court heard.

He maintained the sex was consensual.

Ms Gallagher said the victim had severe mental distress and had issues of trust.

Judge Melody McReynolds jailed Taggart for nine years on the rape charge, with a three months sentence to run concurrently for the second charge of common assault.

She said it was clear that Taggart posed a risk of serious sexual harm and violence.

He had spent his formative adolescent years in prison, the judge added, and the fact that he was 17 when the offence happened was a mitigating factor.

The judge also noted that Taggart had previous convictions for grievous bodily harm and common assault and had a core belief in violence.

Taggart will serve at least half his sentence before he is due for assessment, after which he will then be placed on licence for two years. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Belfast Telegraph