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MANUELA MURDERER GIVEN TWO LIFE TERMS FOR RAPING STUDENT; Monster told 'no tunnel of hope' in his sentence.

Byline: CLAIRE BRENNAN

THE vile sex killer who murdered Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo was given two more life sentences yesterday for brutally raping a French student.

Gerald Barry assaulted the 21-year-old just seven weeks before he killed Manuela during a horrific sex attack in October 2007.

He was on bail for assaulting his girlfriend and had been quizzed about the rape of the French student when he dragged 17-year-old Manuela from a walkway in Galway city, raped and strangled her.

Despite Garda pleas for Barry, 29, to be kept in custody after attacking his partner the courts let him out.

But Justice Paul Carney yesterday made sure the beast, from Rosan Glas, Rahoon, Galway, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

He told Galway Central Criminal Court there was "no tunnel of hope" being built into the sentencing because he was sure Barry had the "propensity to rape and kill again".

The French NUI Galway student, who is now 23, was walking home after a night out with pals on August 16, 2007, when Barry grabbed her by the hair and put a knife to her throat.

He smashed her phone and dragged her to a GAA pitch where he forced her to perform a sex act on him before anally raping her three times.

At one point he told her he would let her go if she performed a sex act one more time but when she did he ordered her to strip and anally raped her twice more.

He repeatedly threatened to kill her and warned her not to run away, saying: "You know I will catch you."

The following day she went to hospital but was too traumatised to tell doctors and nurses what had happened.

Eventually she wrote on a piece of paper "I was raped" and broke down.

In a victim impact statement she added: "He is not a human or a man. He is a human predator, a liar, a rapist and a murderer. I beg you not to let him out because he will do it again. I am surprised that I am still alive today."

Gardai have described her rape as among the worst they ever encountered.

Just seven weeks later, Barry murdered Manuela. The exchange student was in Ireland to learn English and only arrived three days before the attack. Barry was sentenced to life for her murder after a trial in March.

He was given a five-year sentence for violent disorder arising out of the death of Tipperary man Colm Phelan, who died following a fracas in Eyre Square, Galway, in July 1996.

In 1998 he broke into an elderly man's home and beat him so badly the pensioner lost his sight.

Barry is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to assaulting two gardai in Galway city in March 2007.

PARENTS 'TO SUE STATE'

MANUELA Riedo's parents are preparing to sue the state for failing to keep her killer off the streets.

Gerald Barry was out on bail for assaulting his ex-girlfriend when he raped and strangled the 17-year-old exchange student in October 2007.

He was also wanted in connection with the rape of a French woman seven weeks before Manuela's death.

Manuela Riedo Foundation's Brendan McGuinness said he "strongly believes" the family has a case for wrongful killing because the justice system had "failed miserably".

He revealed the Riedos blame the state for their daughter's death. But Detective Inspector Gerald Roche, who headed the investigation, said Barry's bail release was normal procedure.

He said: "We did recommend at the time he was not given bail, but as he had not been charged with a serious crime and was living at home the judge saw no reason to detain him."

CAPTION(S):

VILE Gerald Barry is led into Galway Court yesterday VICTIM Manuela Riedo was murdered by Gerald Barry
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 25, 2009
Words:641
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