A pharmacist and self-styled pastor who sexually abused children and organised abortions for his victims, in order to cover up his abuse, has been convicted of raping several members of his church.
Michael Oluronbi preyed on children as young as eight during a campaign of abuse which lasted over 20 years, and saw four of his seven victims falling pregnant several times.
During the trial, the jury heard how Oluronbi had abused his position as a pharmacist to access certain medications and book the young victims into abortion clinics under false names. One girl estimated she had five or six during secondary school.
Five of the victims attended Oluronbi’s ‘cult-like’ church in Edgbaston, Birmingham – the same location where five Marie Stopes International abortion clinics closed this month.
Phil Bradley QC, the prosecuting barrister, revealed how some of the offending had “progressed to repeated rapes, on many occasions leading to unwanted pregnancies and terminations”.
He added: “You will learn that this man, who was revered and feared by his victims, kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood.”
One of the victims told the BBC that the Oluronbi’s actions had been “terrible” and “affected everyone’s lives”.
The abuse of one boy and six girls started when they were children – one as young as eight, and for some, continued into adulthood.
Oluronbi would rape his young victims after “spiritual baths”, while living in Birmingham and London, telling some of the children they would fail exams if they refused his advances.
The 60-year-old was finally arrested after one of his child victims, now an adult, came forward to police. He was arrested in May 2018 at Birmingham Airport as he tried to flee the UK.
Despite laughing in court while giving evidence in his own defence and denying any wrongdoing, Oluronbi was convicted on Friday after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
He was convicted of 15 rape charges, seven indecent assaults and two sexual assaults. His wife, 58, was found guilty of three charges of aiding and abetting rape by assisting her husband arrange abortions. Both will be sentenced at a later date.
However, police believe there could be more victims and urge anyone with information to get in touch.
The case is similar to that of senior mental health nurse, Givemore Gezi, who was jailed for having sex with an underage girl he pressured to have an abortion.
According to the BBC, his victim told Exter Crown Court: “I still battle with my emotions, particularly about the termination.”
Gezi was initially jailed for seven years and eight months but his sentence was raised to ten years because of the “heinous abuse of trust he committed”.
A spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“This case highlights the danger of removing making changes to abortion law to remove almost all legal safeguards around, which is something all four of Labour’s leadership candidates have called for. This would make it much easier for people sexually abusing children to get hold of abortion pills. While the the next Labour Party leader will not be in power , we must remain vigilant as it is likely they will support attempting to hijack the Government’s planned Domestic Abuse Bill with such an extreme abortion amendment.
“Taking abortion outside criminal law will not only remove effectively all legal protections for unborn babies, allowing abortion for any reason up to birth but would make many incidents of abuse like these far easier to cover up”