November 2019

Vile bully told teenage rape victim it was ‘sex education’

A judge has blasted police for letting a male officer quiz a teenage rape victim about her ordeal for more than two hours – saying it was ‘little short of further abuse’.

‘Violent and manipulative bully’ Joseph McDonagh, 31, was locked up for 16 years and given an extended sentence after being declared dangerous by a judge.

He told his victim that his vile act was ‘sex education’, a court heard.

Sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley also hit out at police, saying it was ‘little short of a further abuse’ of the girl that she was spoken to about her ordeal by a male officer.

She said it was ‘incomprehensible’ the girl was ‘expected to recount, in intimate detail and over a period of close to two-and-a-half hours, the details, to a male police officer’.

“It was little short of a further abuse of her, and she made it clear at trial in her evidence that she had found the experience unbearably uncomfortable,” the judge added.

The judge also said the fact that the girl had to wait more than two years for justice to be served represented a ‘sad decline in the ability of the criminal justice system to protect and serve victims’.

Manchester Crown Court heard that McDonagh, from Cheetham Hill, subjected his victim to the horrendous ordeal for more than two hours.

Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol, McDonagh assaulted her, called her a ‘slag’ and threatened her with further violence unless she complied with his demands.

“You told her that what you were doing to was ‘sex education’,” Judge Manley said.

The girl suffered scratches and a cut lip during the attack.

The judge added: “The emotional scars will take much longer to heal. She described that she felt as though you treated her like a ‘thing’, an object.”

Her ordeal has had a ‘profound’ impact.

The court heard she had been left ‘feeling sad most of the time’, and that she feels ‘guilty if she ever feels happy’.

She took an overdose following the attack, the court was told.

McDonagh ‘lied and lied again’ after raping the girl, the judge said, and he continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Judge Manley described him as a ‘violent and manipulative bully’.

“Having observed you throughout the trial, I have reached the firm conclusion that you are a manipulative man, filled with anger.”

McDonagh was handed an extended sentence after the judge said he was a ‘dangerous’ offender.

Defendants can be declared ‘dangerous’ if a judge considers they present a significant risk of causing serious harm by committing further specified offences.

McDonagh must serve two-thirds of his 16-year jail term, and will then remain on licence for a further eight years.

Before sending him down, Judge Manley told McDonagh: “The reason you are in this dock, and being sentenced, is due to your actions alone.

“It is not the responsibility of your victim. You did what you did, and you must be punished for it. She is not responsible. She is still a child.”

McDonagh, of Kilmarsh Walk, Cheetham Hill, was found guilty of rape after a trial.

The judge said the case had raised ‘grave concerns’.

McDonagh only appeared before magistrates a year after the original complaint was made to police.

He caused a further delay to the crown court trial after applying for it to be put back so a witness could attend, a witness which was ultimately never called.

Judge Manley said she was awaiting the conclusions of an investigation conducted by GMP and the Crown Prosecution Service into the case, a probe said to have already taken place.

Paying tribute to the victim, the judge said she has ‘displayed courage and maturity above and beyond that displayed by some of the adults around her’.”

“It is to be hoped that, should she be able to come to terms with what was done to her, and should she be provided with adequate support and understanding, she will be able to utilise the resources and character that she possesses, to have a bright future.”