TWO UNDERAGE girls were ‘violated in a vile way’ by a rapist after he plied them with drink in incidents three years apart.
Christian Acheampong, 40, had denied raping the two 15-year-old girls during incidents in September 2012 and August last year.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of both charges by unanimous verdicts.
Jailing him, a judge branded him a danger to the public and praised Warwickshire Police – but criticised the ease with which under-age girls could get served with alcohol in Rugby.
They also convicted a second man, Ransford Buabeng, of taking part in the first rape after he was tried in his absence, having fled the country.
Acheampong, of Duke Street, Rugby, was given an extended prison sentence of 15 years, followed by an additional five years on licence.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC explained he would have to serve at least ten years before the Parole Board considers his release – and he will only be freed before serving the whole term if they believe it safe to do so.
Buabeng, 31, of Wavebeck Court, Long Lawford, was sentenced in his absence to ten years – and both men were also ordered to register as sex offenders for life.
Prosecutor Peter Arnold told the jury that in September 2012 three girls, aged 15 and 16, had been out, and then went to Acheampong’s home where he and Buabeng plied them with alcohol.
The girls had too much to drink, and when one of them, a 15-yer-old, went upstairs to go to the toilet, the two men dragged her into a bedroom and raped her.
Sentencing the two men, Judge Lockhart told Acheampong: “You showed no compassion. You thought you had got away with it. Happily, you had not, and that is largely through the bravery of your later victim.”
The jury heard that girl, also 15, had been out in Rugby and had got so drunk she fell as she left the Midas Club.
The judge, who criticised the lack of checks on under-age drinkers in Rugby bars, told Acheampong: “You had plainly been watching her at the club, and you persuaded someone to run you all back to your house.
“You were keen to see if you could once again have sex with a young and vulnerable girl.”
He plied her with yet more drink, and after her friends had left, he struck, getting her upstairs onto a bed where ‘in a mirror attack to that in 2012, you pulled her trousers down and raped her repeatedly.’
“You violated that girl in a vile way. That is you carrying out an almost identical predatory rape of a young woman.
“You were caught because of proper and robust policing, as the people of this county have come to expect.
“The rape of that girl brought both of you back into the picture on count one [the 2012 rape].
“You told lie after lie to seek to evade proper justice, but the Warwickshire Police and a Warwickshire jury saw straight through you.”
Acheampong’s barrister Jasvir Mann said he had been in work since coming to this country, and was the sole carer of his ten-year-old son following the death of his partner two years ago.
But Judge Lockhart told Acheampong: “I must pass upon you a significant sentence. Plainly any sentence I pass will have an enormous effect on that boy. It will effectively mean he’s lost both parents in the space of two years.
“I must consider dangerousness, and whether you present a significant risk of causing serious sexual and psychological harm to others in the future.
“You have committed two offences against very young women who were plied with alcohol and then raped. In my opinion, you are a predatory rapist and a present and clear danger to young women.”
Of Buabeng, the judge pointed out: “If he is arrested, he will be brought here under an international arrest warrant, and will be brought to this court for the sentence to be explained.”
Judge Lockhart continued: “This case was admirably investigated, in the best traditions of the Warwickshire Police Service.”
But he added: “No-one was subject to any check of their identity when buying drinks across the course of the evenings when extremely young women became heavily influenced by alcohol, to the extent that a 15-year-old fell on her way out of the Midas Bar.
“I ask the Chief Constable to review what I have said and decide whether any further action needs to be taken or whether any remedial action needs to be taken.”
After the trial, DS Gareth Unett said: “Both victims were incredibly brave in reporting the incidents and should be commended. Their courage will stop other vulnerable girls being targeted by these males.
“Buabeng was charged and given court bail in December 2015, but stopped complying with his bail conditions in September 2016 and is believed to have left the area.
“He should have to face justice for what he put his victim through and I strongly urge anyone who has any information about his whereabouts to get in touch, either by calling Warwickshire Police on 101 or via crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use their anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers.org.uk .”
Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence is urged to come forward to police, whose trained officers will support victims in a caring and sensitive manner.
Victims can also contact the Blue Sky Sexual Assault Referral Centre at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton. The centre provides access to emergency medical treatment, emotional support and referrals to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) for anyone from Coventry or Warwickshire who has been raped or sexually assaulted. Visit www.blueskycentre.org.uk or call 02476 865 505.