June 2011

Child rapist cries as he is jailed for 11 years

A CHILD rapist has been jailed for 11 years after he repeatedly attacked a young girl.

David Wood, 44, of Penhurst Avenue, Southend, cried as he was sentenced at Southend Crown Court yesterday for a string of child sex offences.

He had previously pleaded guilty to raping a child, four counts of indecent assault of a child, and two counts of indecency with a child.

The offences happened in the Nineties, but the victim only came forward after she saw her attacker by chance in Southend.

Carolyn Gardiner, prosecuting, said: “She never told anybody until she happened to bump into the defendant in December 2010, in High Street, Southend.

“She approached, and asked if he remembered her. He didn’t. It was after that she felt she had to finally get the matter off her chest and inform the police about what happened.”

The court heard the abuse started when she the girl was just eight, and he had warned her not to tell her mum.

The victim believes she was raped at least ten times, but Wood said he only raped her “two or three times”.

In mitigation, Lee Wilcockson said: “He is remorseful, your honour. He says to me every day since then he has thought of the aggrieved and of what he did to her, and understands the impact of what he’s done.”

Judge Christopher Mitchell said looking at the defendant’s background it was clear he was a “damaged young man” and had a difficult upbringing.

His father had been in and out of prison and he had gone to live with his aunt and uncle in Scotland.

But his uncle then died and his aunt was murdered. He had also been moved from care home to care home throughout his childhood.

However Judge Mitchell added: “I have to sentence you on the basis of the fact you repeatedly raped a very young girl.

“The sentence I pass upon you is intended to reflect your overall behaviour.”

Wood was also ordered to sign on to the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.