April 2022

‘Committed paedophile’ subjected girl to ‘campaign of rape’

A high-risk “committed paedophile” who subjected a young girl to “campaign of rape” could spend a quarter of a century behind bars for his heinous crimes.

Roy Woodward, 56, of no fixed abode but previously of Runcorn and Widnes, faced justice at Chester Crown Court on Monday alongside his wife Gaynor Woodward, 58, of Worcester Court, Runcorn, who was convicted of one count of cruelty.

At trial, Roy Woodward was found guilty of 14 counts of abuse, namely four of rape, eight of indecently assaulting a child, and two of indecency with a child.

Some counts represented multiple offences over a period of time, and the abuse began when the victim was of very young.

At trial in January, prosecutor Matthew Dunford told jurors Woodward – who had a previous conviction of child rape – abused the girl at the centre of the trial throughout her childhood and after she turned 16.

He instigated abuse on one occasion by telling the girl he wanted to “play snaky” and in other instances by giving her “lemonade” that was really cider. The court heard the first rape left his victim in “excruciating pain”.

At sentencing on Monday, Judge Patrick Thompson said Woodward plied his victim with sweets to secure her silence as well as alcohol to assist his grooming.

He said the abuse began when the girl was very young and became a “campaign of rape” as she grew older.

In an impact statement read to the court, the abuse survivor spoke of how since her early 20s she has had “horrific nightmares” resulting from her ordeal and said she believes it also triggered a mental health condition.

She finds it hard to trust other adults, and feels she “will never be able to live a normal life”.

Reading her statement, Mr Dunford said: “I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I was denied a normal life and the chance to form my own life.

“I will never be able to live a normal life. I feel hollow and empty.

“Since my early 20s I have had horrific nightmares about the abuse suffered that I still get to this day. I can feel him repeatedly in these nightmares.

“It has affected my relationships and with my current partner. I am lucky I have the support of my partner.

“In general life, I find it hard to trust any adults because I was abused by an adult.”

Mr Dunford said Woodward had seven previous convictions for 10 offences including criminal damage, battery and the previous child rape conviction from 2018.

Gaynor Woodward had “older dissimilar” convictions including two counts under Section 4 of the Public Order Act from 1999. 

Roy Woodward should be considered a dangerous offender and “very high risk to children” and sentenced him to 21 years in prison plus four years on extended licence, meaning he could serve 25 years in prison if he offends again including after initial release.

It could be the year 2047 when he experiences life outside custody again.

The judge ordered Woodward to be placed on the sex offenders register for life alongside an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

During his summing-up, he said Woodward had chosen to abuse the girl to satisfy his “twisted sexual desires”.

The judge said the offences spanned about 12 years and from the victim’s age of 13 onwards “can be described as a campaign of rape”.

Considering the question of “dangerousness” in light of this current case and Woodward’s previous rape conviction, Judge Thompson said: “I’m required to consider the issue of dangerousness, and if there’s a risk of further offences and causing serious harm.

“I’m satisfied you do present a risk. I have no doubt you are a committed paedophile.

“You have an unhealthy sexual interest in children and present a danger to children.”