Man jailed over ‘damaging’ and abusive relationship with girl (14)

Eoin Vickers (35) cut contraceptive bar out of teen’s arm and gave her and friend heroin

Eoin Vickers (35), described by a judge as ‘a manipulative, controlling and violent man’, was 28 when he first began the relationship with the girl (14). File photograph:  Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

Eoin Vickers (35), described by a judge as ‘a manipulative, controlling and violent man’, was 28 when he first began the relationship with the girl (14). File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

 

A man has been jailed for nine years for a “hugely damaging” and abusive sexual relationship he had with a 14-year-old girl.

Eoin Vickers (35), described by a judge as “a manipulative, controlling and violent man”, was 28 when he first began the “relationship” with the girl.

He encouraged her not to use contraception and when she had a contraceptive bar implanted in her arm he removed it with a Stanley knife. Vickers also had sex with the girl’s friend, also a young teenager, and gave the girls heroin to smoke.

In their victim impact statements the girls described how Vickers controlled every aspect of their lives.

The first girl described how Vickers had isolated her from her family and friends and made her feel as if he was the only person she could trust.

She described Vickers as an “evil monster” who had left her with scars on her body and taken away her dreams for her future. She said Vickers had stolen everything from her “for his own perverted happiness” and she did not want that to happen to another child

Her friend said she was innocent, naive and oblivious to the dangers of predatory men when she encountered Vickers.

She described how the abuse had had adverse effects on her life but said: “I am not his victim but a survivor.”

The Central Criminal Court heard the girls wished to retain their anonymity but were happy for Vickers to be named.

Defilement

Vickers, of no fixed abode, who lived at various locations in Co Mayo during the times of the offenses, pleaded to five counts of defilement of the first victim on dates between May 2011 and October 2013.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting the first victim causing her harm on a date in August 2013. He also admitted defilement of the girl’s best friend on a date in July 2013.

Vickers was most recently living in the UK from where he was returned to Ireland on foot of a European Arrest Warrant. He has been in custody since December 2017.

Mr Justice Michael White said this was a “particularly disturbing case” and Vickers was “a manipulative, controlling and violent man”.

He said he accepted defence submissions that Vickers had accepted his guilt and apologised to his victims but noted an interview in the probation report outlining that Vickers had very little insight into the damage he was perpetrating on these young girls.

“These were children, absolutely children, and Mr Vickers was twice their age and that must never be lost sight of,” said Mr Justice White.

The judge said the relationship the accused man had with the first victim was “hugely damaging”, and that his behavior in relation to the two girls was “of the most base kind”.

Extreme harm

He said the plea was the only mitigating factor and was important for two reasons. Firstly that it acknowledged the extreme harm done to the victims and it saved them from giving evidence.

Mr Justice White imposed a sentence of 11 years imprisonment and suspended the final two years on condition that Vickers complete an assessment within the prison for the sex offenders treatment program. He said actual participation in the program had to be voluntary.

The court heard that Vickers had sex regularly with the first victim over a 2½ year period. He began controlling her and stopping her from seeing her friends. As time progressed he became more angry and paranoid and would hit her. He checked her phone and said what she could wear.

The girl said she was terrified of Vickers and his temper. She said he put a knife to her throat on one occasion and stabbed her with a pen on another. He told her he would put compromising photos of her on the internet and around her home town if she did not do what he said.

He told her the relationship had to be a secret as he would be locked up if it got out. He demanded €50 per week from her for petrol money and took money from her bag.

Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said Vickers acknowledged the gravity of the matter and wished to make a “unequivocal” public apology to the girls. He asked the court to take into account his client’s guilty plea.

He handed in letters from Vickers’ father and wife, who he married in the UK, which he said painted a very different picture of him. He said Vickers was using his time in custody well and working positively to help people there.