A 22-year-old man who had claimed asylum in Ireland because he was gay, has been jailed raping a woman.

Kenneth Udeh was sentenced to five years in prison for attacking the woman while she was on a night out in Waterford city centre.

Originally from Nigeria, he pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court in the city – for the incident that occurred in September 2014.

The court was told how the woman had met Udeh with a group of men smoking outside a pub in the early hours of the morning.

After a brief chat, she went to leave when Udeh offered her a ride home and the two walked to where he claimed his car was.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, then said she was pushed to the ground where Udeh dropped his trousers and raped her.

Shouting for help, a local man who was working late came to her help. He chased Udeh, but he managed to escape the man.

After being traced by the Garda (police), he initially denied sexual contact, but changed his plea after his claim was contradicted by forensic evidence.

Udeh, who first came to Ireland in 2009, had been refused asylum twice and is in the process of appealing the second refusal.

When he initially came to the country, he claimed he was a Christian living in a Muslim country and suffered persecution as a result.

After being returned, he came to Ireland again claiming he was homosexual.

In a report read to the court, the unnamed woman said she was “violated” and that she no longer wanted to live after the rape.

She added that it placed severe stress on her relationship and had given a bad impression of all black men, who she now feared.

The woman said she didn’t believe that Udeh should be allowed to remain in the country, but Mr Justice McCarthy said that was for the courts to decide.

On sentencing Udeh, he said the attack had a serious effect on the woman and backdated the five year sentence to reflect time he had already spent in custody.