A health care worker received an 11-year-sentence for the rape of a 73-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s in an Irish nursing home last April. Emmanuel Adeniji earlier denied the rape charges but pleaded guilty after matching samples of his DNA were found on the victim.
The attack occurred in the victim’s bedroom at 3am of April 3 at the height of the lock down. A staff member later found the woman in a noticeable state of distress and alerted Gardai after she was informed by the woman of the sexual assault. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the victim’s family was unable to accompany the victim as she was whisked off by a Garda car to a hospital for thorough examination in a sexual assault treatment unit
The 52-year-old assailant had worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years prior to the incident. He has no previous convictions and remained in custody since his arrest in April.
Justice Paul McDermott, presiding judge at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court says Adeniji seemed to have very little insight of the effect of what he had done to the woman. Although he admitted his actions were abhorrent and had expressed his remorse, it somehow felt his words had a lack of depth. Before handing down the 11- year sentence, the judge disclosed that he also did take into account the fact the man had no other recorded offences and that he lived a hardworking life. Justice McDermot said, “this is an egregious breach of trust by a qualified and experienced health care worker.”
The elderly woman’s children expressed how they have been unable to comfort their mother since the rape as she remains anxious and terrified her attacker would return to her room. She gets scared of anyone approaching or coming into her room and keeps checking her bathroom just to make sure her attacker has not returned to the nursing home.
In a victim impact statement prepared on behalf of the victim, the woman’s children articulated how the effect of the incident devastated and traumatised their mother.
“We always said we will dread the day she loses her memory but now one day we hope she wakes up and doesn’t remember.”
Supreme Court prosecutor Sean Gillane pointed out that the Director of Public Prosecutions assigned this offence in the highest category making the case the quickest processing rape case in the last 15 years. Further investigations are now being conducted at the facility by the HSE Safeguarding Team.