Taxi driver rapist also guilty of raping a child over a decade ago

By Eimear Dodd

by Gazette Reporter
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A Dublin taxi driver who raped two young women in separate incidents in 2022 has also been convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl over a decade ago.

Raymond Shorten (50) with addresses in Melrose Crescent, Clondalkin and in Rathfarnham was convicted in May of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault in 2012 of the young girl. Shorten was 37 at the time.

The now 20-year-old woman indicated she wished for Shorten to be named, but to retain her anonymity. The Central Criminal Court heard Shorten was known to her family at the time.

The offending came to light after the girl left a handwritten note on her grandmother’s pillow in 2020 saying that Shorten had sexually abused her. She was interviewed by specialist gardai in early 2021.

The court heard  on Monday this week that Shorten raped the young girl for the first time in the days after her mother’s funeral.

She was seven or eight when the second rape occurred. Shorten later sexually assaulted the girl in a car by touching her leg inappropriately.

Shorten denied any wrongdoing when he was interviewed by gardai in 2021. He described the first incident of rape as “110% lies” and said he was “mystified” by the allegations.

Shorten gave evidence in his own defence during this trial and denied the allegations, saying they were a “total fabrication”.

Shorten was convicted of two counts of rape and one of anal rape by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last month and is due to be sentenced in relation to these charges later this month.

He has eight previous convictions, including five for road traffic offences.

A victim impact statement was read to the court by prosecuting counsel Gerardine Small SC. The young woman said she was “severely taken advantage of” by Shorten, whom she never liked.

She said “he always creeped me out” and she didn’t want to go near him. She said she was terrified and didn’t understand what was happening.

“One part of me knew what he done to me was not right and couldn’t be right, but another part thought it must be right because why else would an adult man do that to a seven-year-old,” she said.

The woman described the effect of the abuse on her, including issues with sleep, self-harm, suicidal ideation and strong emotional outbursts when she was younger. She said she felt angry about the sexual abuse but couldn’t comprehend what had happened to her.

She said she was terrified to be left alone with a male teacher, in case “they’d do the same with me”.

She said it was only when she started sex education in school at the age of 14 that she realised what Shorten did to her was wrong.

She outlined suffering with panic attacks in recent years, describing “weeks where I would have one panic attack every 20 minutes. I thought I was going to die”.

She said she was relieved when she was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided to prosecute Shorten but was terrified of the process. She said when Shorten was convicted, she felt she’d “finally found the beginning of the end”.

She said Shorten “should have protected me, not abused me”.

Ms Small told the court that the DPP’s view is that the case falls into the more serious category for sentencing, meriting a headline sentence of between 10 and 15 years.

She noted the aggravating features include the age difference between Shorten and the girl, and her young age and vulnerability at the time.

Lorcan Staines SC, defending, said his client does not accept responsibility for the offences.

Counsel said Shorten has a long work history, initially in a factory, then as a milkman before working as a taxi driver.

Shorten is a father of seven children and hopes to rebuild his relationship with them in future. He has also lost his marriage and relationship with his parents.

Shorten has been working in the prison laundry while in custody and is on an enhanced prisoner regime.

Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo adjourned this case for finalisaton on July 19.

Three days later on July 22, Shorten is due to be sentenced in relation to the three taxi rape charges.

Shorten had pleaded not guilty to the rape and anal rape of a 19-year-old woman on June 26, 2022 and to the rape of another woman, then aged 20, a couple of months later on August 9.

Each young woman separately found themselves in a taxi after a night out socialising and drinking in Dublin city centre, where they were raped by the driver, Shorten.

The court heard that Shorten raped the girl for the first time in the days following her mother’s funeral.

Shorten raped her again on a bed when she was seven or eight years old. She described feeling sore and uncomfortable during the incident and recalled it took place at night-time as the lights were on.

He sexually assaulted her on another occasion while in a car. The court heard the girl screamed and he stopped.

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