Parents found guilty of ‘horrendous’ abuse related to exorcism

Dublin, Ireland: A 39-year-old man and his 36-year-old wife, both of north African origin, have both been found guilty of all charges against them by a jury in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.


The trial lasted 12 days and the jury reached a unanimous decision. The abuse is said to have happened between June 28 and July 2, 2019.


Their identities have not been released in order to protect the identity of the 9-year-old girl that has been left with permanent neurological damage. As a result of the injuries she now requires care 24/7 and "will not recover."


The Gardaí reported that the girl was left "incapable of having any control over her body, she can no longer see, hear, touch, she can't swallow."


Detective Inspector Brian Downey told Irish News, "This is the first case I think in Ireland where we had faith-based abuse. The child had suffered at the hands of her parents an exorcism, which involved pain, burning, cutting, choking and ultimately a serious, serious assault."


According to GRIPT, the father had told a detective that he had contacted an Islamic faith healer concerning what he believed to be a 'devil' inside of his daughter and that he had then carried out a ritual to get rid of it.


The girl was found unresponsive on July 2 and taken to the hospital with visible bruising, cuts, bite marks and burns on her body. A medical expert disclosed during the trial that she had additionally suffered swelling of the brain and subdural hematoma as well as bleeding in both eyes.


Inspector Downey said that he believed this was the first instance of 'faith-based abuse' in Ireland.


"I know our colleagues in other European countries are dealing with some similar issues, but we've never had this before here. No sort of abuse that is faith based will be tolerated. Children have a right to grow up free of violence, physical or emotional."


Judge Martin Nolan is scheduled to sentence the couple on January 24, 2022.