Catholic priest Father Martins Enegbuma assaulted parishioner as she visited on Christmas Day

Edinburgh Evening News (Edinburgh, Scotland)

March 16, 2022

By Alexander Lawrie

A Catholic priest who sexually assaulted a parishioner while she visited him on Christmas Day has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Father Martins Enegbuma pounced on the woman as she delivered a festive meal for him at his home next door to the Our Lady Mother of the Church in Edinburgh.

Enegbuma, 44, ran his hands over the victim’s body, rubbed her foot and kissed her on the mouth during the attack.

The disgraced priest, originally from Nigeria, denied the sex attack but was found guilty following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

He was back in the dock for sentencing yesterday where a sheriff described the offence as “a serious breach of trust”.

Following the conviction the Catholic Church issued an apology to the woman and praised her for coming forward to report the assault.

Previously the court heard the woman, who is in her 20s, attended the church with her mother and brother in the early afternoon of Christmas Day 2020.

Fiscal depute Ross Price said the family were delivering a meal for Enegbuma when he forced himself on the woman while the pair were alone.

Mr Price said the priest had “instigated a campaign of sexual touching” and he had run his hands up and down her body and had kissed her hand and forehead.

The court also heard the priest had fondled the woman’s feet and his conduct towards her amounted to “a gross abuse of position” and a “gross abuse of trust”.

The attack on the woman lasted around 45 minutes before she asked her mother if the family could all leave the property.

The victim and her mother were both forced to give evidence during the trial while Enegbuma decided not to take the stand in his defence.

The court was told the woman was “repulsed” by the priest’s behaviour and her mother described his conduct as “unpriestly”.

Sheriff Adrian Fraser placed the priest, currently of the capital’s Niddrie, on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

Enegbuma was also ordered to wear an electronic tag and stay within his home address between 7pm and 7am for the next four months.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of St. Andrews & Edinburgh said: “When the allegations against Fr Martins were brought to our attention in 2021 he was immediately removed from active ministry in line with safeguarding procedures.

“The Archdiocese cooperated fully with the Police Scotland investigation. It will now be for the court to determine a sentence, following which Fr Martins will return home to Nigeria to face a canonical investigation.

“The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh offers a profound apology to the person who was subject to this assault and commends their courage in reporting it.”

Enegbuma was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman by picking her up, kissing her hand and forehead, running his hands down her body, repeatedly lunging at her, rubbing her foot, compressing her toe and embracing her at a property at Lanark Road West, Edinburgh, on December 25, 2020.