17th Oct, 2017

'Unnatural interest in incest' drove Rugby man to sexually abuse teenage step-daughter

Correspondent 16th May, 2017

AN ‘UNNATURAL interest in incest’ drove a Rugby man to repeatedly sexually abuse his teenage step-daughter.

The 45-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, had denied four charges of sexual activity with a child family member.

But after more than eight hours at the end of a five-day trial, a jury at Warwick Crown Court convicted him of the charges – although they cleared him of further allegations of raping her.

The defendant, who had admitted three charges of making indecent images of children by downloading them onto his computer, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Prosecutor Mark van der Zwart told the jury: “The real issue for you is whether the acts complained of happened at all.”

He said the incidents happened when the girl, now in her early 20s, was aged between 14 and 17.

“When she was 17 she told a college friend that she was being sexually abused by this defendant, but she did not do anything else about it at that point.”

When the matter was reported to the police a few months later she said that for three years from when she was 14, her step-father ‘did inappropriate things’ to her.

Mr van der Zwart told the court that on the first occasion “he pushed her down on her back and, sitting astride her, pinned her arms down and undid her dressing gown and lifted her top and began touching and kissing her.

“About a month later another incident occurred in similar circumstances, and they began to continue more often and escalated to him pulling down her lower clothing and to touch, kiss and lick her.

“She said it happened a couple of times a month.

“She said she was afraid of him. She wanted the earth to open up, and she felt broken.”

It was alleged he had progressed to raping her when she was 15, but he was not convicted of those charges.

Her step-father claimed none of what she said was true – but Mr van der Zwart put to the jury: “Why would she say such things if none of them happened?”

After the jury returned its verdicts, Mr van der Zwart said that following the step-father’s arrest, officers found 32 indecent images of children on his computer, and search terms showing an interest in incestual relationships.

And Judge Andrew Lockhart QC commented: “I am quite satisfied this is a grooming case, and that there was planning.”

Delroy Henry, defending, conceded there was ‘very little one can say post-conviction,’ but submitted that there was no planning prior to the abuse.

But the judge retorted: “He was looking at images of incest, and then he carries it out. What more planning could there be?”

Jailing the step-father, Judge Lockhart told him: “Across the course of four years, the jury has found you abused your step-daughter on a regular basis.

“That was to carry into effect your clear and unnatural interest in incest.

“I have no doubt you gained sexual pleasure from looking at the material on the internet, and then drank and carried out sexual abuse of her.

“I find the evidence she gave utterly compelling. She became a prisoner in her own home, and in her own thoughts. You were grooming her. You were a serial sexual abuser.”

Reader Offers

Check out all of the latest reader offers to get your hands on some free gifts.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Rugby Observer.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Rugby Observer newspaper.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.