April 2010

Child rapist sent to jail for 12 years

A MAN convicted of child rape has been jailed for 12 years.

Robert Powell, 59, of Cleveland Road, Torquay, was found guilty of rape, indecency with a child, indecent assault and two other violent offences against three girls up to 35 years ago.

In sentencing, recorder David Bartlett told Powell: “In my judgement, all three victims have endured long-term suffering as a result of your treatment of them.”

He said that Powell had no ‘victim empathy’ and was in denial of the offences.

Some of the offences occurred in Ipswich and others in Paignton.

The court heard statements from Powell’s victims.

One, who was raped by Powell on the eve of her birthday, told of the difficulty she had in coming to terms with her ordeal and having to relive it for the jury.

She said: “A man’s liberty is precious and priceless but nothing will remove the sickening memories in my head and my constant nightmares.

“My childhood was precious. It should not have been ripped away from me.”

The court heard that two other victims had been violently assaulted.

One told the court: “I asked myself what had I done to deserve it, was it my fault?”

Powell was sentenced to 10 years for the rape, 21 months for indecency with a child and four years for indecent assault. All are to be served concurrently.

He was sentenced to a total of two years on the other violent offences, to be served concurrently with each other and consecutively to the sexual offences.

He will serve at least eight years in prison and will be on licence for 12 years.

Powell is also added to the sex offenders register.

In mitigation, barrister David Evans said: “He faces retirement with the greatest stigma attached.

“His sullied reputation will follow him to the end of his days.”

Powell was convicted after a trial earlier this year.

He was also found not guilty on 17 other charges including indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Speaking after the sentence DC Chris Oakes from Paignton CID hailed all the victims as ‘heroines’.

“It is a hefty sentence. His offences were extremely serious. He sexually assaulted, raped and was guilty of indecency and there were aggravating factors, too horrendous to mention.”

DC Oakes added: “All three women were brave and are all heroines for what they endured, and then re-endured in getting this man convicted.”