A homeless man who sexually assaulted his wife after forcing her into a wooded area in Galway has been jailed for three and a half years.

The man, who can't be named to protect her identity, was also accused of raping her but the jury wasn't able to reach agreement on that charge.

At the time of the attack, the couple were sleeping rough in Galway city.

The man had been drinking heavily on the night in question so his wife decided to sleep outside a church to get away from him.

She told the jury he woke her just before 5.30am and told her to come with him.

On their way to a wooded area, CCTV footage showed her falling against a wall after he head-butted her in the shoulder.

She said he also threatened to "cut her into pieces and throw her in the ocean"

He fell asleep after sexually assaulting her, which gave her the opportunity to escape.

In her victim impact statement, the court heard she has since moved on with her life and is now working and "very happy"

She said she made the right choice to come forward and thanked Gardaí for their help.

 

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