Northern Ireland

James Taggart jailed for raping woman in Enniskillen

Dungannon courthouse
Image caption Passing sentence, the judge at Dungannon Crown Court said Taggart met the threshold of a dangerous offender as he posed a significant risk of causing serious harm

A man who raped a woman he met in a pub while he was on release from prison has been jailed for nine years.

James Taggart, from Kingsmere Gardens in Londonderry, was 17 at the time of the offence in February 2012.

He attacked and raped the 19-year-old woman after meeting her in the bar in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

Jailing him, the judge at Dungannon Crown Court said he met the threshold of a dangerous offender as he posed a significant risk of serious harm.

He had denied the attack but last September, a jury unanimously found him guilty of raping and assaulting the victim after a 10-day trial.

Taggart, who is now aged 20, was handed an extended sentence of nine years in custody, followed by two years on licence.


He must serve at least half of the sentence before being considered for release and he will remain indefinitely on the sex offenders' register.

The judge said the offence was aggravated because he was on bail at the time having been released from prison, had previous convictions for assault, and the attack involved violence.

She said the victim has suffered a significant psychological impact.

Taggart continues to deny his guilt and had claimed to police that the woman had consented to having sex after she returned to his house.


The judge said he had shown no compassion or remorse at his trial, and the victim had been subjected to a lengthy cross-examination in which she had been required to demonstrate how she had been throttled around her throat during the attack.

The victim told the trial that Taggart had "absolutely flipped" and she said she could scarcely breathe and that she was scared for her life.

The court was told he had spent his formative teenage years in custody for a series of violent assaults.

He was assessed as being dangerous at an earlier court hearing in September 2013 after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent for an assault in 2011 when he stamped and kicked a person as they lay on the ground.

His defence barrister said that Taggart was addressing his problems and risks of future offending, and that his future was "not too pessimistic."

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