A man described in court as an “involuntary celibate” has been jailed for a year for trying to coerce an 11-year-old girl to go for a walk with him in the woods in Cork.
Magnus Nordell (42), a Swedish national formerly of Manor Close, Rochestown in Cork city pleaded guilty to one count of coercion.
Det Garda Brian Murphy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court the girl was playing camogie near her home on the morning of July 27th, 2020 when the man approached her. He made inappropriate comments involving her going for a walk in the woods with him.
The girl became distressed and ran home to her mother who followed the man, later identified as Nordell, and took a picture of him.
Det Garda Murphy told Judge Sean Ó Donnabhain the child became physically sick after the incident.
The girl’s mother called gardaí and a search was carried out of the area by the Armed Support Unit.
Inquiries were carried out and Nordell was subsequently interviewed by gardaí. He admitted talking to the girl but tried to downplay the incident, claiming it was a “misunderstanding.”
Det Garda Murphy indicated that Nordell, who works in IT, had no previous convictions either in Ireland or his native country.
He said Nordell described himself to gardaí as being a “highly sensitive person” who was an Incel, which Det Garda Murphy explained was a member of an online subculture of involuntary celibates who define themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.
Defence counsel Sineád Behan said her client had fully co-operated with gardaí and had returned to the jurisdiction from Sweden to face the case.
She said that Nordell was socially awkward and that whilst he had not been diagnosed, it was generally accepted that he was on the autistic spectrum.
Ms Behan said that the plea in the case was of immense benefit and that her client intended to leave the jurisdiction after the sentencing hearing.
Nordell issued an apology to the victim in the case.
Ms Behan said that her client had always been gainfully employed and was “extremely remorseful” for his actions.
She indicated that a picture of Nordell had widely circulated on social media after the incident.
A victim impact statement was handed in to the judge. It was not read in open court.
Judge Ó Donnabhain said the girl had gone through a “truly frightening experience. “
“This little girl was playing innocently when her innocence was taken from her. The plea is helpful and he co-operated and is remorseful. But this is a serious incident. A non-custodial sentence is not adequate. This girl was innocently playing in the middle in the day and what has occurred has had significant ongoing effects.”
Judge Ó Donnabhain jailed Nordell for two years, suspending the final year of the sentence on condition that he leave the jurisdiction upon his release and not return for a period of five years.
He directed that Nordell receive medical attention in prison after his barrister expressed concern for his welfare following his incarceration.
An order was made not to publish the area in Cork city where the incident occurred in order to protect the identity of the injured party.