May 2010

Man jailed for rape of 13-year-old girl

A CHARD man has been given an indeterminate prison sentence for serious sex offences against two young teenaged girls.

Dean Briant, 38, admitted raping a 13-year-old and 13 other offences of sexual activity involving her and a girl of 14. Taunton Crown Court was told the younger victim told investigators his conduct made her feel “dirty and horrible”.

Imposing a sentence for public protection, Judge Graham Hume Jones said Briant would serve a minimum prison sentence of five years and would not be considered for release until the authorities considered it was appropriate. If he was eventually released, he would be under licence for the remainder of his life and liable to be recalled to prison.

Robert Duval, prosecuting, said in May last year Briant invited the girls to drink alcohol and bought bottles of a vodka-based drink from a One-Stop shop in Chard, telling them not to tell his wife.

He drove them on a sentimental tour of  beauty spots from his youth and suggested they have some fun. When they asked what, he spelled out the word sex, but they said no. They had consumed all the alcohol and he stroked the older girl’s leg, but she kicked out at him. She later made disclosures and the other girl told family and friends what had happened to her.

The younger girl said Briant had full sexual intercourse with her on “a substantial number of occasions”, said Mr Duval. She lost count of the number of times she was abused. “She was not, throughout this entire episode, a happy participant. She was a reluctant victim. If she declined to co-operate with him he would get nasty and threaten to hit her and on one occasion he threatened to kill her,” said the prosecutor. “He would speak of their naughty little secret and told her she must not tell anyone.”

Ben Tabiner, defending, said Briant felt deep remorse and “clearly expressed the desire to make sure nothing like this happens again after he’s released from prison”.

The judge said Briant had abused the younger girl to gratify his own sexual needs and she was not a willing partner. He said: “Knowing what you were doing was wrong, you threatened her with violence and even to kill her if she did not participate. You rewarded her with money and sweets.”

The judge added that Briant was “brazen” having intercourse with her and the only thing to be said in his favour was that he pleaded guilty and saved the children from the ordeal of giving evidence. Briant had been assessed as posing a significant risk of serious harm, particularly to girls.

The judge said that if Briant had pleaded not guilty and been convicted by a jury, the appropriate sentence would have been 15 years. Briant must comply with a sexual offences prevention order for an unlimited time and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.