Violent rapist spiked victim and claimed her injuries were caused by demonic posession - The Rugby Observer

Violent rapist spiked victim and claimed her injuries were caused by demonic posession

Rugby Editorial 24th Oct, 2019   0

A VIOLENT man raped a Rugby woman he met on a dating website after driving 140 miles to the town and spiking her drink with ecstasy.

Darren Callaghan also assaulted the woman while she was unconscious – then bizarrely tried to persuade her there was a demon in her house and that she had been possessed.

Callaghan, 48, of Bonchurch Road, Southsea, Hampshire, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to administering a noxious substance with intent to stupefy, assault and rape.

But after considering the evidence for more than seven hours, the jury found him guilty of all three charges.




The case was adjourned for him to be sentenced on a date to be arranged – and he was remanded in custody by Judge Andrew Lockhart QC who warned he was facing a significant prison term.

Prosecutor Adrian Fleming had told the jury Callaghan spiked his victim with MDMA – ecstasy – without her knowledge, assaulted her causing a number of injuries, and raped her while she was “incapable of consenting to sex” due to the spiked drink and the large amount of alcohol she had drunk.


He explained Callaghan met the woman through a dating app, hired a car and drove the 140 miles to her home in Rugby. They went out to various pubs before they got a taxi back to her home.

By then she was drunk, and she recalled Callaghan making them both a drink which she thought tasted funny.

“Soon after she began to feel unwell and had some sort of seizure. She recalls falling down, and her memories after that are vague.

“It’s the Crown’s case that he had put MDMA in her drink. She is very clear she did not take it knowingly.

“Although the defendant has admitted giving her a small amount of MDMA, he says it was at her request. That, you may think, is pretty central to count one,” Mr Fleming told the jury.”

The next thing she recalled was waking late the following morning, naked apart from her bra, with Callaghan lying next to her, naked.

She had injuries all over her body, and she asked if he had punched her to the face.

“He said no, and that she was possessed and that there was a demon in her house,” said Mr Fleming. “She says Callaghan appeared to be trying to blame her injuries on the supernatural.

“The inescapable fact is that somehow she got very real injuries all over her body – and it was nothing to do with ghosts.”

Mr Fleming said he accepted some of her injuries may have been caused, as Callaghan claimed, by her thrashing around when she suffered the seizure – but not all of them.

When Callaghan fell asleep, she left and returned with a relative to confront him.

Accused of spiking her drink, and being told to leave, he responded: “I only spiked her with a little bit. I thought she’d have done MDMA before. She asked me for it.”

After a friend contacted the police, officers went to see her and found she was covered in bruises, said Mr Fleming.

Callaghan claimed the woman made the drinks when they got back to her home.

He said she had asked him for some of his MDMA, but when she took it she had a seizure – which he described as being ‘like something out of the Exorcist.’

And he claimed she subsequently became ‘sex-crazed’ and that they had had sex a number of times.

But Mr Fleming told the jury: “She has no recollection of having sex with him whatsoever. If she was incapable, any sex he had with her was rape.”

Speaking after the trial, Det Insp Cindy Stephenson from Rugby CID said: “This was a horrific crime that has had a profound impact on the victim.

“While I am sure she will never fully get over what Callaghan did, I hope she can take some comfort from this verdict and start to move on with her life.

“I hope this case gives other people who have been the victims of sexual offences the confidence to come forward and report offences. Warwickshire Police takes all such reports seriously and they will be fully investigated.

“Victims will received help and support from specially trained officers and other support agencies. They will also have guaranteed life-long anonymity.”

To report any sexual offence call Warwickshire Police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress – or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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