NewsCrime Desk

Chief suspect in Pender disappearance in court over videos

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Fiona Pender
Fiona Pender

THE CHIEF suspect in the disappearance of pregnant Fiona Pender 19 years ago will find out this week if he will be jailed over a series of gruesome videotaped sex assaults he allegedly perpetrated on his wife in Canada.

The man remained on bail following a hearing at Queen’s Bench Court in Saskatoon last month, during which it was alleged he carried out a catalogue of videotaped sexual assaults on his wife.
In the videos, which the woman claims were recorded while she was unconscious, she alleged her husband had placed a blonde wig over her hair, applied dark make-up to her face and stuck long pink false nails over hers.
It was also heard during the trial that his wife claimed he told her he killed Fiona.
Following the four-day hearing Mr Justice Martel Popescul adjourned the proceedings until this Wednesday for judgement. The suspect – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – left Ireland for Canada in 2012.
A three-week search last December for Fiona’s remains in the Slieve Bloom mountains came about after the alleged sex assault victim went to the Gardaí claiming her husband had identified the area as the spot where he buried Fiona.
In Canada the suspect faces two counts of uttering death threats, two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual assault with a cucumber.
Under Canadian statute each count of sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while threats to kill carry a two year sentence.
A key issue will be whether the woman consented to participating in the sex acts.