By Tony Gardner | Yorkshire Evening Post |
A carer in the UK originally from Zimbabwe got a severely disabled woman pregnant by raping her when he was supposed to be looking after her. A judge described the offence carried out by Edson Munyikwa as “hideous” as he gave him an extended prison sentence totalling 15 years.
Leeds Crown Court heard the victim had to undergo an abortion and was left seriously traumatised as she did not understand what had happened to her.
The 55-year-old preyed on the victim when he was supposed to be providing respite care for her.
The woman suffers from a range of serious disabilities including brain damage, epilepsy and autism. Her condition also means she is unable to speak or communicate.
Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, told the court that the victim did not have the capacity to consent to sex.
The offending came to light when it was noticed that she had missed her period and the epileptic fits she was suffering were becoming worse..
Blood samples were taken and showed that she was three months pregnant.
She had to undergo an operation to have the pregnancy terminated.
Miss Smithies said a police investigation was launched to trace all men who had been in contact with her.
The court heard the woman’s father was also placed under suspicion.
He volunteered to give a DNA sample so he could be eliminated as a suspect.
Munyikwa gave a DNA sample after he was identified as being in contact with the woman.
The defendant’s work colleagues were also placed under suspicion.
Munyikwa was arrested at his home in Rothwell, Leeds, after he was identified as being the biological father. He was interviewed and denied having sex with the woman.
The prosecutor said: “When asked how he could be linked specifically to the product of conception he said that he did not know.”
Munyikwa, of High Ridge Avenue, Rothwell, Leeds, pleaded guilty to rape.
Miss Smithies read statements to the court on behalf of the victim’s relatives.
They described the severe trauma and anxiety suffered by the woman as a result of Munyikwa’s offending.
One statement read: “She was targeted because of her vulnerability and her inability to communicate.
“We find it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the fact that another professional body has caused indescribable distress to a vulnerable young woman.”
A probation officer who interviewed Munyikwa described in a report how the defendant “lacked a heartfelt expression of remorse” for what he had done.
The court heard Munyikwa is a Zimbabwean national. He has no previous convictions in the UK and no record of him offending in his home country could be found.
Marcus Waite, mitigating, said: “What the defendant has said to me today is that he is sorry, not only to the victim, but to her family, having sat through those lengthy victim impact statements.”
Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Munyikwa he was imposing an extended prison sentence as he considered him to pose a serious risk to the public.
He must serve a custodial term of 12 years followed by an extended three-year period on licence.
The Judge told Munyikwa: “You committed a very serious and hideous offence.”
“This is not an ordinary case.
“This is probably the worst case of its type I have come across.
“One finds it difficult to understand why someone like you would, out of the blue, go and commit an offence of this type.
“There is no explanation other than what you told the probation officer.
“That has not been delved into in detail to find out what is behind it.”
The Judge told Munyikwa he had undermined the public’s confidence in his profession and had placed others under suspicion.
He said: “She would not have appreciated at the time what was happening to her and you were in the secure knowledge of her not being able to communicate what you had done with her to anybody else.
“There could be no greater torment for a father than to be accused of having sex with his own child.
“He had to live away from her until he was eliminated from the enquiry.
“Similarly, those who work with you at your workplace were subjected to suspicion.
“They had to be suspended, just like you, until the enquiries were completed.
“Other people knew the reason behind the suspicion and that would have caused them a great deal of embarrassment and torment in front of their families and friends.”