Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Rapist jailed by Carlisle court for attacks on schoolgirl

A man who began raping a schoolgirl when she was just 12 has been jailed for 14 years.

David Townsley photo
David Townsley, of Whitehaven: Sentenced to 14 years after being found guilty of five counts of rape and two indecent assaults on a schoolgirl

Carlisle Crown Court heard that David John Townsley, 42, sexually abused his young victim over two years, using coercion and threats to get his way.

Prosecutor David Warne said that the defendant used “all manner of persuasion” to control the child, and tried to convince her that the “relationship” was acceptable. At the same time, he warned the girl of what might happen if she spoke to anybody about the sexual abuse.

Mr Warne said: “The Crown say this was a lengthy campaign of rape over two years, with a background of coercion, grooming and threats.”

The court heard that the defendant continues to deny his offences but was convicted after a trial.

Townsley’s barrister Alison Whalley outlined how fellow inmates at Durham Prison had found out about the conviction and had been shouting from their cells, urging his cell-mate to stab him.

“He now keeps a very low profile and wants to apply for a transfer to Haverigg jail,” said the barrister.

Recorder Simon Medland QC described Townsley’s crimes as “truly appalling sexual offences.”

He said: “This has had an enduring impact on [your victim].”

The judge said that he had no doubt that there was another side to the defendant’s character, which was alluded to in character references but Townsley had not accepted his guilt and only a substantial jail term could be imposed.

Townsley, of Nursery Place, Whitehaven, was convicted of three rapes, two indecent assaults and two counts of sexual intercourse with a child.

The trial was told that the girl’s ordeal only ended when she became old enough to tell somebody what was going on.

Townsley sought to persuade the girl, now an adult, that what was going on was a natural “boyfriend-girlfriend” experience, said Mr Warne.

Townsley claimed his victim had falsely accused him out of spite, adding that he was “physically sick” when he heard the claims.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Andrea Davidson, of Workington’s public protection unit, said: “She [The victim] was only 12 years old when the abuse began. The sentence handed down today reflects the horror of these offences and, quite rightly, the judge sees prison as the only place for him.

“The victim in this case has shown great courage in coming forward and I hope that she can now move on and try to rebuild her life. I also hope that other victims of sexual abuse can take strength from this woman and have the confidence to contact the police themselves no matter how long ago the abuse occurred."


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