Tralee court hears a man threatened to rape a woman following an assault

Tralee Circuit Court has heard a man threatened to rape a woman following an assault.

Martin Ward of Bohatch, Mount Shannon, Co Clare pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including the unauthorised taking of a vehicle, assault causing harm, driving while disqualified and theft offences.

The charges arose out of incidents which occurred on 8th November 2018 in various locations in Clare and Kerry.

30-year-old Martin Ward was staying with a family member in County Clare when he took possession of a vehicle without permission and drove overnight to North Kerry.
Detective Garda Emma Mullane told the court that shortly after midday on November 8th, the accused went off the road near Moyvane and got the vehicle stuck on a pile of turf outside a derelict house.

He then went to a property in Drommurhur, Moyvane, where a woman in her fifties had left her car unattended while she went to open her front gate.

Mr Ward entered her car, drove it a few feet and stalled.

He got out of the car, punched the woman in head and threatened to rape her; he fled when the woman’s husband came to her assistance.

He then broke into a nearby home and stole items, including a woollen jacket belonging to homeowner’s deceased ex-husband; when apprehended by gardaí a short time later, he was wearing this item.

Victim impact statements were read to the court; the assault victim says she now has a permanent scar, attended counselling services and has frequent nightmares.

Defending barrister Richard Liston said his client fell into a life of substance abuse at a young age, which was compounded by his father’s conviction for murder when he was 18.

Mr Ward has 69 previous convictions, including eight for burglary offences and six for the unauthorised taking of a vehicle.

Judge Eoin Garavan imposed a five-year sentence with the final twelve months suspended.