Tuesday 22 October 2019

Tinder rapist Patrick Nevin used online dating scene to prey on women

Patrick Nevin
Patrick Nevin
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

IN THE summer of 2014, the online dating scene became a hunting ground for a dangerous sexual predator who used Tinder to callously and remorselessly prey on his victims.

Rapist Patrick Nevin (37) met hundreds of young women on the popular app but within the space of 11 days, three of them would be unlucky enough to fall into his trap.

Driven by a pre-occupation with sex but harbouring a deep-seated hostility towards women, Nevin went in cold pursuit of his own gratification and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

Since his conviction for the attacks, gardaí have voiced fears that the three are not his only victims and there could be up to a dozen others.

Although there has been no suggestion in court of any further cases, the three prosecutions brought revealed a chilling common modus operandi.

After becoming active on Tinder, Nevin would chat to women he “matched” with and they would continue to exchange messages and pictures on WhatsApp.

Patrick Nevin
Patrick Nevin

He would quickly ask to meet them, often suggesting they go for a coffee. But not long after he got the three victims into his blue BMW, the mask slipped.

As one woman said, he “became a monster in front of me”.

He met the first woman on the same day he contacted her – July 12.

Despite her insistence that she was not interested in “hooking up”, Nevin drove her down a country lane where she would be vulnerable, and subjected her to a “degrading” rape, even spitting on her during the attack.

The second victim, who he contacted on July 2 and met on July 16, he called a “mickey tease” when she repeatedly told him to stop his prolonged assault on her, also in his car, parked down a quiet rural  laneway in Co Meath.

He ordered her to walk if she would not have sex and when she did get out, lost in a remote area, he followed her and “tricked” her back into his car by changing his approach and appearing “nice”. He persisted in assaulting her even after she suffered a panic attack.

More details of his methods emerged during his trial for sexually assaulting a Brazilian student on the UCD campus on July 23, a crime he denied.

That victim was a language student who was using Tinder to meet Irish people to practise speaking English.

Soon after making contact, Nevin was asking the woman to send on photos to him and to meet up.

His messages became explicit, but she thought he was joking and told the trial: “I never said to him I wanted to have sex with him. If I wanted sex I wouldn’t have said, go for a coffee.”

Instead of going for coffee, Nevin drove her to a secluded field on the UCD campus, an area he was familiar with from his own time as a student there.

He attacked the woman when she rejected his forcible attempts to kiss her.

He punched her on the back of her head before she managed to release her seat belt and get out of the car and Nevin drove off.

Nevin comes from a dark and troubled background.

He is the son of Cynthia Owen, herself the victim of a sexual assault who, in 2007, was named as the mother of a baby girl found stabbed to death in a Dún Laoghaire laneway in 1973.

She was aged just 11 when she gave birth to the infant and has claimed she was repeatedly raped as a child by her father, Peter Murphy, at their home at White’s Villas in Dalkey.

She also claimed that she was sold for sex to a group of men.

The murder of the baby, in what was dubbed the “Dalkey house of horrors” case, remains unsolved and Ms Owen’s parents, Nevin’s grandparents, have since died.

Ms Owen has since denounced her son’s crimes, saying: “There are no excuses for what he did.”

Nevin began his descent into violence and sexual offending from a young age, despite repeated legal interventions.

His parents’ troubled relationship broke down when he was a child and Nevin lost contact with his mother and lived with his father, who moved to Denmark.

As a teenager, Nevin began to fall foul of the law there, and was jailed for an assault on a man at a neo-Nazi rally.

Aged 17, he carried out his first sexual attack, on the mother of a friend he beat unconscious after raping her.

On turning 18, he was deported back to Ireland, where he lived with his father’s family for a time.

Just two years later, in 2001, he was jailed for seven years for a brutal physical assault on his then-partner.

In February that year, the woman returned to her north inner city Dublin home to see her two beloved dogs, a Labrador and a shih tzu lying lifeless in the hallway, battered to death with a bannister rail by Nevin.

He then subjected her to a prolonged attack.

Armed with a knife, he punched her repeatedly in the face and asked her whether she would prefer to die by being choked or stabbed.

He headbutted her in the face and choked her on the ground, claiming he had previously killed 10 people and that she would be number 11. He pulled a tuft of hair from her head and dragged her into the bedroom where he kicked her in the head and spat in her face.

When she asked for an ambulance, he told her she would not need one because she was going to die.

She struck him on the head with a brick but Nevin grabbed it off her and hit her on the back of the head.

After she passed out and awoke, Nevin again asked how she wanted to die.

Suffering a fractured skull, cuts and bruises, she got out after he fell asleep.

So Nevin had clear form for violence and sexual offending.

An assessment submitted to the Central Criminal Court yesterday cited “hostility towards women”, “general social rejection”, a “preoccupation with sex” and using sex as an “emotional coping mechanism” in his psychological profile.

He accepted he had subjected his victims to a “horrendous ordeal for his own gratification”.

But the court heard little else to give further insight into Nevin’s history of violence or what drove him to take to Tinder in the summer of 2014 to prey on women to satisfy his vicious urges.

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