Violent rapist who blamed victim's injuries on demonic possession jailed for 16 years - The Rugby Observer

Violent rapist who blamed victim's injuries on demonic possession jailed for 16 years

Rugby Editorial 11th Dec, 2019   0

A ‘TWISTED’ man who violently raped a woman he had met through a dating website after spiking her drink with ecstasy continued to protest his innocence as he was jailed.

Darren Callaghan, who had bizarrely tried to persuade his victim she had been possessed by a demon in her house, had denied administering a noxious substance with intent to stupefy, assault and rape.

But Callaghan, who had left his victim with 80 injuries during the attack at her Rugby home, was found guilty of all three charges following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

Following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him, Callaghan, 48, of Bonchurch Road, Southsea, Hampshire, was given a 16-year extended prison sentence.

He will serve at least two-thirds of that in jail, and will only be freed before completing the whole term if the Parole Board considers it safe to do so.

And Callaghan will then be on licence for any period that remains of the 16 years and for a further five years, as well as having to register as a sex offender for life.

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.”

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.”

Callaghan said during the trial that the woman had had a seizure, and that he looked after her and wrapped her in a duvet, after which, he claimed, she had become ‘sex-crazed.’

At the resumed hearing Kim Preston, defending, said: “He feels passionately and indignantly about his version of events. This defendant did not set out that night to go to her home and assault and rape her.”

But Judge Andrew Lockhart QC interjected: “My assessment is different, and the jury’s finding is very different.”

Miss Preston suggested it had not been a violent assault, but the judge observed: “There were 80 injuries. It is one of the most appalling pieces of violence associated with rape that the court has witnessed in many years.”

Jailing Callaghan, who kept interrupting loudly to protest his innocence, Judge Lockhart told him: “On any basis, your actions have as good as ruined her life.

“You gave her drugs with a view that she would be incapacitated. This was to be sex for your own perverse and twisted desire, and sex where you could beat and abuse her.

“You said she had had a seizure and that her home was possessed. This was a cruel aspect of your behaviour. You showed yourself to be a dangerous and manipulative man.”


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