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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbrian rapist jailed for 11 years

A Whitehaven man has been jailed for 11 years for a string of sex crimes.

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Christopher Neal Holmes

Christopher Neal Holmes, 46, of The Grange, Hillcrest, admitted seven charges of rape. He also admitted five of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how he started committing the offences in the late 1990s.

Holmes was reported to police in June this year on a charge of raping a woman

When interviewed, he revealed he had raped this woman on six other occasions between 2003 and 2011, though he was unclear on exact dates.

Robert Dudley, prosecuting, said: “On each occasion he had apologised.” At the interview Holmes also said he had carried out the other crimes on a girl between 1998 and 2001. Mr Dudley also said that when Holmes had raped the victim she had been under the influence of alcohol.

Holmes submitted a letter to the court acknowledging the scale of his crimes, and accepting that he was facing a custodial sentence.

Gregory Hoare, defending, said: “He has to take the punishment. But at the same time there will be proper help for him there. In many other ways he has lived an exemplary life.”

Holmes, who appeared in court smartly dressed in a shirt tie and dress trousers, wiped tears away from his eyes as the charges were discussed in court.

Judge Peter Hughes said of the victim: “The repercussions are likely to be felt for the rest of her life.”

The judge also said the case was complicated by the fact that the gross indecency and indecent assaults were committed before the most recent Sexual Offences Act was passed in 2003. Many would now be classified as rape.

Holmes must sign the sex offenders register and will be eligible to apply for release after he has completed half of his sentence.

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