The family of a woman who took her own life after allegedly being sexually assaulted by a man who saw her in a church want the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to look into her case.
It comes amid new claims the man may have engaged in other “predatory behaviors”.
Shauna Reilly of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, died by suicide in 2016 at the age of 23. Seven weeks later, her sister Michelle (33), who could not live without her, also took her own life.
The alleged perpetrator contacted Shauna online after seeing her at a church she didn’t normally attend.
He spoke of his faith and persuaded her to allow him to visit her home – but it is alleged that instead of praying, he dragged Shauna upstairs, attacked her and injured her arms.
The man was arrested by the police and questioned about the alleged attack, but initially denied it. When a forensic examination confirmed “penetration” had taken place, he admitted to having had sex with Shauna – but insisted it was “consensual”, a claim her family denies.
Now the family attorney has written to the PSNI asking for Shauna’s file to be reopened.
Barry O’Donnell of KRW Law in Belfast said he understood the man “may have been involved in similar predatory behavior towards other young women, which was reported to police”.
He added: “We respectfully request that the investigation and evidence be reviewed and our client updated accordingly.”
The mystery surrounding the circumstances surrounding Shauna’s final months was unraveled by her mother, Jacqueline, when she found her daughter’s diary and cell phone.
Shauna, who was vulnerable, had become addicted to alcohol and turned to faith to help her recover.
On her phone were dozens of messages from the man, who described himself as a member of a church, offering to “help” her.
One message read: “Tell me about your trust in the Lord Shauna. Let me know anytime you want to pray, Shauna.”
Sometimes I feel physically nauseous and want to cry
Another read: “If you would like me to call you after tea to pray let me know.”
In her journal, Shauna articulated her fear of not being believed, her fear of what she had experienced, and her thoughts of suicide.
“I can not speak. I’m looking for words, but the words in my vocabulary are scattered all over the place. It is impossible. I think writing helps me. But it obviously didn’t help enough,” Shauna wrote.
“Even thinking about it, when I go to talk — my head goes back there, I panic, I get sick — it’s just a horrible feeling. I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to speak.”
Her journal entries show the impact on her mental health.
“Sometimes I feel physically nauseous and want to cry,” she wrote.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/mum-calls-on-psni-to-reopen-daughters-case-file-after-fresh-claims-over-predator-in-tragic-shauna-case-41845547.html Mom tells PSNI to reopen daughter’s file after new ‘predator’ claims in tragic Shauna case