A FORMER Irish soap actor has been sentenced to six years in prison for the oral rape of a young woman.
Garrett Phillips of St Mary’s Terrace, Taylors Hill, Galway was convicted of one charge of orally raping the then 20-year-old woman on the outskirts of Galway city in the early hours of November 5, 2015.
The 46-year-old, who appeared in Irish soap opera Ros Na Run, was convicted at the Central Criminal Court after a four-day trial.
The father-of-two had pleaded not guilty to the offence.
The incident occurred when Mr Phillips approached the woman as she sat alone and upset on a park bench and offered her a lift home.
After the woman agreed to the lift home, Phillips offered to show her an overview of the city lights.
During the journey, the woman fell asleep. When she woke, Phillips was standing over her with his penis in her mouth.
The woman got out of the van, memorised the registration and ran to a nearby home for help.
Phillips claimed the encounter was consensual and told gardai that it had started off “very tender” and felt “chemical” between him and the woman.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman described how the attack impacted her life.
“I was high achieving. My life was a train on a track in the right direction”, she stated.
The woman described how she is now a changed person, that she has questioned her will to live and started to “feel emotions that were foreign to me”.
She said the court process, during which she had to sit inches away from her attacker, was one of the hardest things she has ever had to do.
She also said that in the time since the assault, she still feels like the same 20-year-old girl banging on a door for help.
The court heard that Phillips initially worked in his family's business before getting into acting and had been appearing on stage in London up to his trial.