Rapist took my dignity - victim

Just days after a Mongrel Mob member was acquitted of raping a teenage girl and released from prison, he barged his way into a woman's home and forced himself on her "like an animal".

Joseph Quintin Donnelly, 44, was sentenced to 11 years, 10 months' imprisonment yesterday, after being found guilty in the Palmerston North District Court earlier this year on two counts of rape.

Donnelly was reportedly acquitted of raping a 17-year-old Gisborne girl at a High Court retrial in late November 2008. He had served 18 months of a 10-year sentence when the second jury found him not guilty and he walked free.

Days later he raped the Palmerston North woman in her home.

His victim told the court yesterday Donnelly had humiliated her.

"I was degraded and treated like an animal. I will never forget that or the words that were spat at me. I have been robbed of my dignity, my faith and my courage," she said.

Donnelly is the uncle of Glen Walsh, who admitted this week to bashing Thelma Lawrence, 99, in her Palmerston North home in November 2008.

Walsh, 22, had been living at Donnelly's home, not far from where Mrs Lawrence lived alone, when he attacked the great-great grandmother. He will be sentenced later this year.

Donnelly's victim, who has automatic name suppression, told the court Donnelly had ruined her life and his tattooed face haunted her.

"There have not been many nights since the attack when I have been able to sleep without seeing his face. It's like a nightmare I can't wake from."

She had not returned to her home since the rape and had left Palmerston North, fearing for her safety and retribution.

"My view of the world changed that day. I have walked around in a haze clouded by fear."

She spoke about being re-victimised during the June trial.

"I can only hope the hours of torture inflicted on me were not in vain. I hope I can spare other women the same fate."

She calculated a financial loss from the attack of nearly $15,000, including lost wages, missed mortgage payments, counselling and relocation costs.

Donnelly still denies raping the woman twice on December 3, 2008.

He says it was consensual, but Judge Gerard Lynch rejected this claim.

The pair had been drinking at Donnelly's house with several patched Mongrel Mob members prior to the rapes, Judge Lynch said.

"She trusted you certainly to the degree that she left house keys with you when her and her partner had separated," he said.

"You wore your patch, your symbol of power during the rapes ... you said you owned her."

Donnelly left after the first rape but returned less than six hours later, at 6.30am.

He threw a bag of food and spat derogatory sexual remarks at her before again having unprotected, non-consensual sex.

Donnelly, originally from Gisborne, joined the Mongrel Mob at the age of 17 and had racked up 71 convictions in 28 years, the court was told.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon wrote a letter on Donnelly's behalf outlining the convicted rapist's work with troubled youth in the city while on bail.

Judge Lynch said it seemed Donnelly had helped young men who were on the cusp of imprisonment turn their lives around through rugby league.

Mr Foon's letter showed that if Donnelly left his past life behind he could be a productive member of society, Judge Lynch said.

His mother, who sat behind the victim in the public gallery, asked Judge Lynch to look beyond his "mask".

Donnelly said in a letter he regretted getting the tattoos on his face and intended to have them removed.

A minimum non-parole period of five years, 11 months was imposed, which means he will serve at least half of his sentence behind bars.

Manawatu Standard