A Nigerian healthcare assistant who admitted raping a 73-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s in an Irish nursing home has been given an 11-year sentence.
The victim was attacked in her room in the early hours of 3 April, during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown. She was found in a distressed state later that morning by a staff member.
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Emmanuel Adeniji, of Royal Canal Court, Kilcock in County Kildare, had denied rape but later pleaded guilty after his DNA matched a sample from the victim. The 52-year-old worked in healthcare for 15 years before the attack and he had no previous convictions.
The judge at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court described the rape as “an egregious breach of trust by a qualified and experienced healthcare worker”. The victim’s family told the court Adeniji had “single-handedly destroyed our mam’s life”. CCTV footage from the nursing home at the time of the rape showed Adeniji going in and coming out of the woman’s room at about 03:00 local time on 3 April. Later that morning, another staff member found the victim upset but coherent.
Gardaí (Irish police) were called and the woman was able to make a statement about the rape. She told officers she was in her room all the time as residents were “locked in because of the virus”.
Adeniji was arrested 11 days later. The victim’s daughter told the Central Criminal Court that her family have been unable to hug her mother to comfort her since the attack.
“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,” she added. The judge said the effect of the rape on the victim had been “devastating” with the woman experiencing feelings of “depression, suicidal thoughts, nightmares and a lack of safety”. He imposed an 11-year prison sentence on Adeniji, with the final year suspended.Photo Credit: Getty