September 2006

Man jailed for rape of girl, 11

Russell Tovey

A man was jailed for 11 years for raping an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after the attack and was believed to be Britain’s youngest mother when she gave birth.

Russell Tovey, 31, who admitted raping the girl twice between May and July last year at a location in the Forest of Dean, Glos, was told by the judge that his crime was one of “undiluted wickedness”.

The girl, who cannot be identified, gave birth to a boy in March this year when she was aged 12 years and three months, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Passing sentence, Judge Jamie Tabor, QC, told Tovey that his victim was an immature and naive young girl.

He said: “She was not sexually mature — or mature in any way — and there was great disparity between your ages.

“You have taken away not just her adolescence but what remains of her childhood. The consequences are catastrophic and this will affect her for the rest of her life. You have quite clearly lost your moral compass.”

Jailing Tovey, the judge told him that under new powers he would serve an indeterminate sentence for public protection, allowing the Parole Board to decide when he was fit to be released.

He could be detained beyond the 11-year term.

The judge told him: “You will serve what is in effect a life sentence to reflect the public’s utter dismay at offences of this nature.”

The court heard that the girl’s mother was unaware of her daughter’s pregnancy until she noticed that her periods had stopped and she was gaining weight. The girl was bullied about her weight at school.

The victim was found to be seven months pregnant and DNA tests after the birth confirmed that Tovey was the father to an accuracy of one in 190,000.

The girl’s mother, speaking after the hearing, said: “It’s been very difficult for her. I have been with her every step of the way. I’ve been helping to look after the baby. He is a very happy little boy.”

The judge ordered Tovey to sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.