Northern Ireland news

Father-of-six who attacked his ex-partner as he believed she cast a voodoo spell jailed for four years

He appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink from Maghaberry

A FATHER-OF-SIX who attacked his ex-partner as he believed she cast a voodoo spell on him which caused erectile dysfunction has been jailed for four years.

The court heard Rotimi Adeyemo (52) carried out a sustained attack involving strangulation, kicks, punches and use of a knife, which took place in the presence of the woman's eight-year old daughter, who begged him to stop.

The Nigerian national from Carrickdale Gardens, Portadown yesterday appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink from Maghaberry.

He was initially charged with attempted murder, which he denied, but later pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to his ex-partner with intent.

She sustained multiple injuries including a collapsed lung, bleeding to the brain and fractures to her ribs, nose and jaw and spent three days in hospital.

The court heard that prior to the attack, the defendant and accused had been in a relationship which had ended and Adeyemo started dating one of the woman's neighbours, which caused acrimony.

Crown barrister Barra McGrory QC said two days before the attack, Adeyemo called at his ex-partner's home and accused her of casting a voodoo spell on him that had affected his potency.

Saying it was the Crown's case that this was a "key factor in the offending in terms of motivation", Mr McGrory said the woman told Adeyemo there was no spell.

Adeyemo returned to her house on August 3 2019 and grabbed his ex-partner by the throat leaving her unable to speak or breathe. He carried her by the throat into the kitchen, threatening to kill her and picked up a knife to try and cut her throat.

She managed she grab a plate and smash it over Adeyemo's head that caused a bleeding wound, which she later told police caused Adeyemo to "completely lose it".

She was also punched and kicked in the face and lost consciousness.

The aftermath of the attack was captured on police body-worn footage and was described as "harrowing" by judge Mr Justice Fowler.

During interview, Adeyemo told police his ex-partner was into witchcraft, reiterated the claim about the spell and said he drank half a bottle of Bailey's before going to her house.

The judge spoke of the lasting effect on the victim - that she avoids going out, has become isolated, installed security cameras to feel safe in her home and suffers nightmares.

Mr Justice Fowler said he had considered submissions by defence barrister Gavan Duffy QC, which included Adeyemo's clear criminal record, good work record, no prior domestic violence and remorse.

He said he accepted medical reports suggesting Adeyemo was experiencing a mental health episode at the time.

Mr Justice Fowler imposed an eight-year sentence, divided equally between prison and supervised licence, and put in place a five-year restraining order.

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