"Every day is a battle": Tormented victim says attempted rapist destroyed her life

A woman who was subjected to an attempted sex attack told a court: "Every day is a battle, but nights are even harder".

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:55 am

Remorseless Dino Donnelly, 30, was found guilty after trial of attempting to rape the woman at an address in the Wakefield district in 2018 when he tried to force himself onto the woman.

The court was told that it was only the woman's attempts to fight him off that prevented him from raping her.

The victim eventually went to the police and Donnelly was arrested, but he denied the offence.

Dino Donnelly was given an extended prison sentence.

The woman's name and additional details are not disclosed to protect her identity, but an impact statement was read out at Leeds Crown Court on her behalf by prosecutor Ian Mullarkey.

He said the woman was on medication and "tormented by nightmares and flashbacks" and still had "constant reminders of that night".

The statement read: "He has turned me into a nervous wreck, I'm a fraction of the person I used to be.

"I used to have so much confidence but now I struggle to smile each day.

"Every day is a battle, but every night is even harder."

Donnelly, of Addison Road, Byker, Newcastle, had been acquitted of rape, but was found guilty of attempted rape.

The court was told that Donnelly, who has previous convictions but none for sexual offences, absconded part way through his trial which was held in February, but was apprehended and placed on remand at HMP Leeds.

Mitigating, Sue Hirst, said Donnelly was a relatively immature and vulnerable man.

She said: "He does not cope with life like many man of his age do.

"He is the product of his upbringing following a an extremely unsettled period in his life."

She said his mother was a drug addict and he was taken into care at the age of 11. He was also diagnosed as having ADHD and said he would often turn to drugs under pressure.

She said he apologised for absconding part way through his trial after his mental health deteriorated.

The judge, Recorder Ben Nolan QC described him as a dangerous offender because of his continuous denial of the matter.

He handed him an extended nine-year jail term at Leeds Crown Court this afternoon, saying he would only be freed on licence when the parole board saw fit, and not automatically after serving half of the sentence.

He told him: "When you were arrested you made no admission.

"To this day you do not accept responsibility and you have no remorse or regret for what happened."