May 2023

Child rapist abused girl in one-bed flat

A man subjected a school age girl to repeated rapes and sexual abuse in his “truly appalling” home which stunk of animal and human faeces, a court has heard.

Jonathon Armstrong, 38, abused the girl in his flat on Longcauseway, Farnworth, where he lived alone by bringing her there repeatedly over several years.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how police officers were shocked at the state of the place when they arrived to arrest him.

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said: “They were first hit by an unpleasant smell, the flat was in a terrible state.”

Ms Lock told the court how the officers had found bottles of urine and buckets of animal and human faeces as well as rubbish strewn around the place, which Armstrong appeared to have made to effort to deal with.

They had come to arrested him after allegations that he had been abusing and raping a young girl at the flat.

Ms Lock said: “On at least one occasion, the defendant made a video on a tablet of them having sex.”

The 38-year-old was taken to be questioned and answered no comment to the questions but to him by police before giving no indication of guilty or not guilty pleas when brought before magistrates.

But he eventually pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting the girl when brought the crown court.

Judge Bernadette Baxter accepted that Armstrong had earned a degree of credit and that he clearly led an “inadequate, isolated life.”

But she reminded the court of the scene that he greeted the officers who had arrived to arrest him.

Judge Baxter said: “It was truly appalling, not only was it strewn with rubbish, it contained animal and human faeces.”

Addressing the defendant, she added: “You show some genuine remorse for your actions but it is clear that you are a very self-indulgent man.

“You knew that your behaviour was wrong from the outset.”

Judge Baxter also reminded the court of the profound affect that Armstrong had had on his victim, saying that he had “robbed her of her childhood.”

She sentenced Armstrong to a total of 14 years and nine months in prison and made him subject to indefinite sexual harm prevention orders and notification requirements.