Sunday 11 December 2016

'Possessed by an evil spirit' - Man claimed black magic made him rape his daughter

Nicola Donnelly

Published 29/07/2016 | 17:11

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
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A man who claimed black magic was responsible for him raping and sexually assaulting his daughter has been jailed for six years at Dublin Central Criminal Court.

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The 38-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, believed his brother sent an evil spirit through his daughter, who was 19 at the time, to make him rape her, the court heard.

After he committed the offence he told a psychiatrist he felt an “overwhelming sense of energy through his body” and felt he was “possessed by an evil spirit” and that he was horrified by what he did. He immediately went to gardaí to report what he had done.

The man, who was living in Cork, pleaded guilty to raping his daughter at the family home on July 30, 2014. He further pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his daughter on July 29, 2014.

Sergeant Kieran O'Sullivan told prosecuting counsel Tim O'Leary SC, the daughter had returned from a holiday and while she was putting on her pyjamas, her father came into her bedroom and asked her if she was a virgin.

She told gardaí she was reluctant to tell him but he told her: “If you don't tell me I will have to take a look”.

She said he took off her pyjamas and opened her legs and said: “You lied to me.”

The next morning she said she went into the sitting room and her father had apologised for what happened the previous night.

He then locked the sitting room door and took a 10 inch knife from underneath a cushion which he threatened to hurt her with if she did not come out from behind the couch.

He took off his top and told her she was going to have sex with him before warning her he would kill her if she tried anything.

He ordered her to take off her clothes and after she begged with him, he told her if she didn't take off her underwear he would kill her.

She told gardaí her father then had sex with her on the sitting room floor and he then stood up and put his clothes on before telling her he was going to kill himself.

The daughter phoned a friend and told her what had happened. The man had presented himself at a local garda station where he reported he had raped his daughter, the court heard.

Sgt O'Sullivan said the man has no previous convictions and the victim did not want to make a victim impact statement.

Defence counsel Tom Creed SC, said: “It is a most extraordinary case and the victim adopted a sympathetic course notwithstanding the traumatic experience she went through.”

He said the man's daughter wrote a letter to gardaí stating she did not want her father to go to prison as she “just wants it all to be over with”.

He said the man has no psychiatric illnesses and denies any previous sexual fantasies.

“He told a psychiatrist he believes he was possessed by evil spirits and this is a belief shared by his wider family,” said Mr Creed.

“It was completely out of character, he had a loving relationship with his daughter and has no signs of psychiatric illness,” said Mr Creed.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said: “I've given up saying I have heard it all before but this one beggars belief. There are unusual features to this case.”

He handed down a ten-year sentence but suspended the last four years.

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