A “feared” Nigerian pastor who raped youngsters in a bogus spiritual ceremony over a 20-year interval was jailed on Friday in the UK.
Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi was discovered responsible in January of offences towards six ladies and a person. 5 of these attended his church. He carried out his assaults by convincing his victims to participate in a “spiritual bathing” ritual which he instructed them would “cleanse” them of evil spirits.
Decide Sarah Buckingham, sentencing him to 34 years behind bars, mentioned his case was “one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts” and described him as an “arrogant, selfish and vain man”.
She mentioned the “spiritual baths” had been truly designed to “fulfil his insatiable sexual appetite”. The youngsters feared you and this enabled you to proceed your grip,” she mentioned, sentencing Oluronbi yesterday. Your offending has had an excessive and extreme impression on your entire complainants.
Any try to counsel in any other case could be with out basis. You abused your place of belief – they trusted you want God. In statements learn to the court docket by the prosecution, one of many victims mentioned Oluronbi’s actions made her “question if my life was worth living”.
Oluronbi’s spouse, Juliana, was additionally convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape and serving to prepare among the abortions of his victims, with some turning into pregnant a number of occasions. She was jailed for 11 years. As a pharmacist, he would take them to clinics to finish the pregnancies.
Throughout the trial, the jury was instructed how Oluronbi was linked to a Christian church in Birmingham, the place he shaped a splinter group for about 40 adults and youngsters, separate to the church and in one other location. In that group, he had the victims participate in “spiritual bathing”.
Throughout the trial, Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, instructed the jury: “The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘holy baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences. That activity began when his victims were children. There can be no doubt that its real purpose was to serve his sexual gratification.”
A number of the victims had been raped repeatedly, resulting in “unwanted pregnancies and terminations”, he instructed the court docket, and he was “revered and feared by his victims, kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood.”
West Midlands Police mentioned he satisfied youngsters he may gain advantage them religiously, health-wise or educationally.
The pressure’s detective superintendent Nick Walton mentioned: “They’d be taken upstairs to the bathroom, stripped naked, sometimes wearing a red girdle – like a sash – and he would wash them down. On occasion he would sexually assault them, but also take them to an adjacent bedroom and subject them to sexual assaults and rape.”
Offences happened in Birmingham and London over 20 years, courting again to the 1980s. A few of his victims described it as a cult,” added DS Walton.
He has been confronted on events by kinfolk and oldsters. He by no means made admissions, and even blamed the satan for it on some events.”
Oluronbi would typically giggle in court docket whereas giving proof, DS Walton mentioned. He labored as a pastor till his arrest.
He was arrested at Birmingham Airport whereas attempting to depart for Nigeria — with ceremonial belongings and a sum of money.
He had lately been confronted by one in all his victims. Police turned conscious of his crimes after a sufferer got here ahead to them.
Police consider there could also be extra victims and urged them to get in contact.