Rapist loses appeal over lunchtime sex attack on office receptionist

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Rapist loses appeal over lunchtime sex attack on office receptionist

Rapist loses appeal over lunchtime sex attack on office receptionist

A convicted rapist has lost his appeal against sentence for a lunchtime sex attack on a receptionist while she worked in a Dublin business premises.

Marius Purcil used a Swiss army knife in his sexual assault on the woman, after first beating, head-butting and choking her to unconsciousness.

The 41-year-old, with an address at Woodbrook Hall, Carpenterstown, Dublin, had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and sexual assault. He was last year sentenced to eight years in prison, with two suspended, but today (Tuesday) appealed against the severity of that sentence to the Court of Appeal.

The court was told that Purcil had walked into a holistic therapy centre in the city centre around 1pm on January 21, 2017, and asked the receptionist for a massage. She told him that there was nobody available to give him one.

He offered her money for sex and became aggressive towards her when she refused. He began a sustained assault, punching her in the face and neck a number of times before head-butting her.

He also produced a Swiss army knife and held it to her neck while instructing her to take off her clothes. When she tried to grab the knife, he choked her to unconsciousness twice before cutting her clothing with the knife and sexually assaulting her.

The attack ended only when Purcil was disturbed by a man working elsewhere in the building.

Purcil had eight previous convictions, including one for the rape of a boy in his native Romania.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to five years imprisonment for the sexual assault and three years for the assault causing harm, both to run consecutively. He suspended the final two years.

Purcil’s barrister, Seamus Clarke SC, submitted to the Court of Appeal that the sentencing judge had erred in imposing consecutive sentences on counts arising from the same incident.

“It’s almost a crushing sentence,” he said.

Dominic McGinn SC responded on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He argued that concurrent sentences would not have adequately reflected the gravity of each of his crimes individually. He said that it was entirely within the judge’s discretion to impose consecutive sentences.

Court President Justice George Birmingham, presiding, Justice Patrick McCarthy and Justice Isobel Kennedy found that the judge had been ‘wholly justified’ in imposing consecutive sentences.

“In our view, whatever route taken by the judge, the sentence was a proportionate one,” said Justice Kennedy.

They dismissed the appeal.