Man attacked ex-partner believing she had cast a spell on him, causing erectile dysfunction

The sustained attack involved strangulation, kicks, punches and the use of a knife, Belfast Crown Court was told

A father-of-six who attacked his ex-partner as he believed she cast a voodoo spell on him which caused erectile dysfunction was jailed on Wednesday.

As he imposed an eight-year sentence on Rotimi Adeyemo, Mr Justice Fowler revealed the sustained attack involved strangulation, kicks, punches and the use of a knife.

He said the domestic incident was further aggravated as it was carried out in the presence of the woman’s eight-year old daughter, who begged Adeyemo to stop the attack on her mother.

The 52-year-old Nigerian national, from Carrickdale Gardens in Portadown, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink with Maghaberry, where his sentence was divided equally between prison and supervised licence.

He was initially charged with attempted murder, which he denied, but later pleaded guilty to a charge of 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 the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The court heard that prior to the attack, which occurred on August 3rd, 2019, the defendant and the accused had been in a relationship which had ended.

Following this break-up, Adeyemo started dating one of the woman’s neighbours which caused acrimony between the former couple.

Crown barrister Barra McGrory QC said that two days before the attack, Adeyemo called at his ex’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 and he should go to see a doctor.

At 7.15am on August 3rd Adeyemo returned to her house and, once inside, he launched an immediate attack which started by him grabbing her by the throat leaving her unable to speak or breathe.

Adeyemo proceeded to carry her by the throat to the kitchen where the attack continued. Threatening to kill her, Adeyemo picked up a knife with his free hand which he used to try to cut her throat.

The woman fought back in an effort to keep the knife from her throat and was put to the floor where the strangulation continued.

At this point she managed to 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”.

The attack continued in the back yard and was seen by neighbours who called the police. It was also witnessed by the woman’s daughter, who begged Adeyemo to stop.

The badly injured woman was also punched and kicked in the face, lost consciousness and came round while being tended to by police on her sofa.

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

In this footage, the woman can be seen with serious facial injuries, while Adeyemo was recorded complaining she had put a spell on him to stop his penis working.

While the woman was taken to hospital where she treated for multiple injuries, Adeyemo was arrested.

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

Mr Justice Fowler said that after reading a Victim Impact Statement, it was clear the violent incident has had a lasting effect on her.

The judge revealed she now avoided going out and had become isolated, installed security cameras so she could feel safe in her own home and now suffered from nightmares.

Mr Justice Fowler said he had considered submissions by defence barrister Gavan Duffy QC.

These included Adeyemo’s clear criminal record, his good work record while living in Northern Ireland for the past 16 years, a complete lack of any prior domestic violence and the remorse he has since displayed.

The judge said he also accepted medical reports which suggest that at the time of the incident, Adeyemo was experiencing a mental health episode.

Saying the attack occurred in the woman’s home where she should have felt safe and in the presence of a child, Mr Justice Fowler imposed an eight-year sentence and put in place a five-year restraining order.