Friday 18 October 2019

'Manipulative and violent' man removed teenage girl's contraceptive bar with knife

Stock photo
Stock photo

Fiona Ferguson

A 35-year-old man has been jailed for nine years for a "hugely damaging" and abusive sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Eoin Vickers, described as "a manipulative, controlling and violent man" was 28 years old when he first began the "relationship" with the girl.

He encouraged her not to use contraception, and when she had a contraceptive bar implanted in her arm, he removed it with a Stanley knife, the court heard. The contraceptive implant is a small plastic rod placed under the skin which releases the progesterone hormone.

Vickers also had sex with the girl's friend, also a young teenager, and gave the girls heroin to smoke.

In their victim impact statements, the girls described how Vickers controlled every aspect of their lives.

The first girl said they got to know each other while she was in secondary school and they began texting to arrange to meet up. Her parents also told Vickers that she was 14.

She described how Vickers isolated her from family and friends, and made her feel as if he was the only person she could trust. She described Vickers as an "evil monster" who had left her with scars on her body and taken away her dreams for her future.

Her best friend outlined how she had been innocent, naive and oblivious to the dangers of predatory men when she first encountered Vickers.

She said the abuse had had adverse effects on her life, but said: "I am not his victim, but a survivor."

At the Central Criminal Court, Vickers, of no fixed abode, who lived in Co Mayo at the time of the offences, pleaded to five counts of defilement of the first victim on date between May 2011 and October 2013.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting the first victim causing her harm in August 2013. He also admitted defilement of the girl's best friend in July 2013.

Vickers was most recently living in the UK, from where he was returned to Ireland on foot of a European Arrest arrant. He has been in custody since December 2017.

Mr Justice Michael White said this was a "particularly disturbing case".

He said he accepted defence submissions that Vickers had accepted his guilt and apologised to his victims, but noted an interview in the probation report, outlining that Vickers had very little insight into the damage he was perpetrating on these young girls.

"These were children, absolutely children, and Mr Vickers was twice their age and that must never be lost sight of," said Mr Justice White.

He said the plea was the only mitigating factor.

Mr Justice White imposed a sentence of 11 years' imprisonment and suspended the final two years on condition Vickers complete an assessment for the sex offenders' treatment programme.

The court heard that Vickers had sex regularly with the first victim over a two-and-a-half year period. He became more paranoid and would hit her, she said. He checked her phone and controlled what she could wear.

The girl said she was terrified of Vickers and his temper.

She said he put a knife to her throat on one occasion and stabbed her with a pen on another. He told her he would put compromising photos of her on the internet if she did not do what he said. He told her the relationship had to be a secret and demanded €50 per week petrol money.

Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said Vickers acknowledged the gravity of the matter and wished to make an "unequivocal" apology to the girls.

Irish Independent

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