Man jailed for helping friend rape woman in Cork park

Keith Aherne pushed her to the ground and held her down

Man jailed for helping friend rape woman in Cork park

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin | File photo

A man has been jailed for nine years for helping his friend to rape a young woman in a public park in Cork city.

Keith Aherne of Sawmill Lane, Sawmill Street in Cork denied the charge - but a jury found him guilty last March.

The woman went drinking with a friend in a park in Cork city on a night in June 2013.

She told gardaí she fell asleep and awoke to find the accused and another man there.

She said Keith Aherne, who was 19 at the time, kissed her on the cheek but she told him to go away, and he did so.

Later, the court heard he pushed her to the ground and held her down while his friend raped her.

She said he kept saying 'it's alright, girl'.

Judge Isobel Kennedy said it was to his credit that he declined his friend's offer to also rape her and that he tried to offer her some comfort afterwards - but she said his actions facilitated the rape.

The severe impact that night has had on the victim and Aherne's 41 previous convictions were also aggravating factors, she said.

Aherne was handed a 10 year sentence this morning with the final year suspended.

The court heard his co-accused has since passed away.