April 2023

Bideford rapist who posed as 17-year-old online to groom teenage girls is jailed

A man from Bideford has been jailed after being found guilty of raping two vulnerable girls in Devon.

Michael Schofield, 33, from Bideford posed as a 17-year-old online in order to meet, groom, and abuse two girls, aged 15 and 16.

Schofield was charged with one count of rape, six counts of paying for the sexual services of a child, and three counts of offering to supply a Class A drug. He was found guilty of all counts in a trial in July last year and was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court of Thursday, March 30.

Deputy Senior Investigating Officer DS John Crewe said: “Schofield started to speak to one of his victims online in the summer of 2020. Following grooming on Snapchat, Schofield met with the girl in the autumn and paid her for sex with cash and drugs.”

He continued: “This abuse continued until spring 2021 and had a significant impact on the victim’s mental health. Schofield repeated his pattern of grooming on a second teenage girl, who he then met in the summer of 2021, and raped her; Over the next two months Schofield continued to meet the girl, paying her for sex with cash and drugs.”

The second victim confided in two adults who made contact with police and Schofield was arrested in 2022. He was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court to 13-and-a-half years in prison.