December 2010

Man jailed for rape of boy he was babysitting

A man was yesterday jailed for ten years for the rape of a young boy he was babysitting.

Judge Paul Darlow told Mark Symons that his offences were so grave that he would have been jailed for 15 years, but for his early guilty pleas.

Prosecutor Mary McCarthy told Plymouth Crown Court that the boy had misbehaved and been left at home as part of a punishment, with Symons looking after him.

During the afternoon, a woman arrived and said the boy had been punished enough. She left at 3.45pm, but Symons then twice raped the boy before his family returned at 7pm.

The boy reported the assaults to his family and police were called.

Symons, 25, of Holmes Avenue, Plymouth, first denied the attacks, saying the boy had been imagining things during the day, but admitted the rapes after being confronted with DNA evidence.

Defence barrister Simon Laws said Symons’ own young life had been chaotic, abusive and violent and after being taken into the care system he had been moved to 20 different homes.

But he had a considerable measure of understanding of his guilt, admitted it and was fully engaged in addressing the issues leading to offend.

He was not a predator who had set out to meet or groom children, he said.

Judge Darlow told Symons the experience had been painful for the boy.

He sentenced Symons to 10 years in prison less 150 days spent on remand, imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order until further notice and ordered him to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.