‘He has destroyed two years of my life’

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A VIOLENT sex attacker who raped a woman on three separate occasions – telling her she was ‘his property’ and leaving her with post-traumatic stress disorder – has been jailed for nine and a half years.

David Sullivan (28) (pictured, right) left the woman with multiple bruises and abrasions as well as long-lasting psychological damage after repeatedly sexually assaulting her.

In her victim impact statement, read out during sentencing in the Royal Court yesterday, she said: ‘He has destroyed two years of my life. He has stolen a part of me I will never get back.’

Advocate Simon Thomas, prosecuting, said that after the second rape, Sullivan told the woman that she was ‘his property and he could do what he liked to her’.

Following his arrest, Sullivan breached bail conditions banning him from contacting the woman, when he called her on her mobile phone and was found sitting in a tree opposite her house.

A psychologist who examined the victim said she showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares, and that she would suffer ‘extreme psychological harm if he contacted her on his release’.

The court heard that Sullivan, who had 11 previous convictions for 33 offences, including violence and breaching restraining orders, was considered at high risk of reconviction.

Advocate Thomas added that Sullivan had shown no remorse and concluded: ‘The mitigation available is very limited indeed.’

He recommended a sentence of 11 years’ imprisonment.

Advocate Sarah Dale, defending, described the proposed sentence as ‘far too high’. She said psychologists believed the victim had suffered from depression and anxiety before the incidents, and would not feel as if she had lost two years if the case had come to court earlier.

Advocate Dale said Sullivan worked as a fisherman, had lost a friend when the trawler, L’Ecume II, sank last year when it collided with Condor’s Commodore Goodwill, and had played a part in the search to find those who had been on board.

She added that Sullivan’s partner was standing by him and envisaged a future with him, and there was no danger he would be in contact with the victim again, saying: ‘Mr Sullivan wishes to move away from the Island in due course.’

She suggested a sentence of no more than nine years, with a further reduction for the time he had already spent in custody.

Commissioner Sir John Saunders said the Jurats agreed that the psychological damage suffered by the victim was ‘severe’ and was exacerbated by Sullivan’s denial of the offence, which necessitated the ordeal of a trial.

He said: ‘The defendant pleaded not guilty so gets no discount for plea, which would have been significant in a case like this.’

Sullivan was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 13 years and served with a restraining order for an indefinite period.

Jurats Jane Ronge, Steven Austin-Vautier, Andrew Cornish, Alison Opfermann and Charles Blampied were sitting on the case.

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Jo Le Maistre said: ‘I hope this goes some way to reassure the public that we are committed to investigating and prosecuting all sexual-violence perpetrators. The victim in this case has shown an immense amount of courage and patience during this process.

‘Reporting a rape can be a terrifying experience. We need to do all we can to limit the trauma as much as possible and put victims at the heart of our police response. We are determined to ensure that victims who want to engage in the criminal justice process feel able to do so and are supported at every step. Additional support was also provided in this case by the Jersey Domestic Abuse Service.’

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