Stockport, England- A supposed ‘spiritual healer’ and clairvoyant was arrested and sentenced to 16 years three days ago. In reality, the ‘healer’ was a sexual deviant. He would tell women that their sexual energy points were blocked and then sexually molest them.
Amongst the titles 60-year-old Michael Ireland gives himself, one of them is Reiki Master. Reiki is a hands-on treatment approach from Japan. Ireland tricked many women into coming to see him believing that this kind of therapy would help them.
For more than 25 years, Ireland conned many unsuspecting and vulnerable women, including young girls. He would offer them “special healing” that would help them sexually. This healing process could only be performed in the privacy of his flat.
Although she had the right to remain anonymous, Joanne Mulholland waived this right last night. She allowed the Daily Mail to interview her. The 41-year-old divorcee told the paper of the terror she felt when Ireland sexually assaulted her. He did this during what was supposed to be therapy for her painful back.
Mulholland said, “I was devastated. I felt angry and terribly betrayed. I had trusted him as a professional, and yet he took advantage of me in the worst possible way.” Initially, Ireland kept denying all of the allegations against him.
He finally pleaded guilty to 25 offenses in January when his trial was scheduled to begin in Manchester. He pleaded guilty to offenses that included indecent assault and sexual activity with a child committed against eight victims for over 25 years.
During the trial three days ago, one of the victims could not take it and exited the court in tears as they were listing the catalog of abuse.
There Was No Shortage Of Victim Testimonials
Also during the trial, the court heard of how Ireland advised one victim that her breasts and vagina were ‘dead’ and that he could help her reactivate them. A different woman said that Ireland told her to touch him intimately to get her energy flowing again.
A 15-year-old victim said she took an overdose of medication to gain some relief from his sexual abuse. Before news of him was discovered and made public, Ireland traveled from one spiritualist church to another.
He offered his therapeutic services, ranging from Reiki to crystal healing and chakra balancing, for £15 per session. Ireland built himself up on his website. He advertised himself as a clairvoyant who gives regular demonstrations of his medium ability and expert in shamanic healing.
Conveniently, however, his site did not mention that when he was a teenager, he was convicted of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 14. Mulholland, who met Ireland in October of 2009, said that she had decided to have sessions with him to cure the back pains she had been having.
“He said that to reach my back, he needed to feel inside me. I felt my heart thumping because I knew it wasn’t right. Yet, as I lay there on my own on the healing couch, I felt incredibly vulnerable. I couldn’t wait to leave,” Mulholland said.
Ireland convinced Mulholland that the cause of her back pain was a blockage of energy. “It sounds naïve, but when he said he was freeing one blockage, with his hands inside my bra, I told myself it was necessary. But when on the fourth visit he put his hands inside my pants, I never went back.”
Ireland Found A Way To Get Inside The Victims’ Heads
According to prosecutor Darren Preston, Ireland would advise his victims that conventional Reiki therapy would not work for them. He convinced them to try his more controversial method. On a different occasion, Ireland told a woman who considered him a mentor that he had to blow in her mouth to rid her of demons.
A different 39-year-old victim, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke of how she first met Ireland at a spiritualist church. She said he scanned her body first, then told her that she should come by his flat regularly for sessions. The sessions would be to release her broken chakra points via his touch.
It was common for Ireland to be completely naked during the sessions. When he wasn’t, he would take the victim’s hand and put it inside of his pants. He told her that this was because he was impotent, and her doing this ‘gets the energy flowing again.
Finally, multiple victims came forward to police, and they arrested him in July of 2012. They described Ireland as a ‘very strong, powerful person’ and felt he had a strong ‘presence.’ Judge Mushtaq Khokhar sentenced him to 16 years in jail.
He told him that because of his irresponsible and hurtful actions, his victims no longer had any confidence in themselves. He told him of how they were laying the blame on themselves for being naïve and gullible. After the sentencing, one of the victims said, “I’m glad that he can’t do it to anybody else.
It’s been a living nightmare, and I’ve not had any sort of life since it happened.” A different victim spoke of how she has not been able to work ever since the abuse started. “I don’t go out of the house due to flashbacks and panic attacks.”