July 2023

Underage Derby victim’s life ruined by ‘selfish abuser’ at party

A paedophile that sexually abused an underage Derby girl has avoided a prison sentence

A court heard how Sam Rudge’s victim, who suffered ill health, said the incident saw her lose her virginity and that what the then-teenage defendant did to her “did not feel right”.

The city girl, now a woman, went to the police to report what happened to her at his hands, which he denied, only pleading guilty to charges against him on the second day of the trial. This meant she spent months worrying about having to face her abuser and give evidence.

Sarah Phelan, prosecuting at Nottingham Crown Court, said Rudge, now 29, abused the girl when she was a very young teen. She said: “At a New Year’s Eve party she was given alcohol and they were alone in a room. She was a virgin and described how the room was spinning and that he had sex with her.

“There was no foreplay, she experienced pain and said ‘it hurt, it did not feel special, it did not feel right’. The prosecutor said years later, when she was an adult, the victim reported what happened to her to the police and Rudge, of Severn Way, Bewdley, near Kidderminster, was arrested.

She said he answered “no comment” to the questions he was asked in the interview but later pleaded guilty to charges of sexual activity with a child. He has no previous convictions of any kind.

Her father read her hugely powerful victim impact statement to the court. In it she said: “Sam Rudge, you took away my innocence and you took advantage of my naivety. I was a child and I was physically and emotionally abused by you.

“Before I met you I was a happy person with a large group of friends and now I only have a small group of friends and only truly feel safe around my family. My life is constant flashbacks and I suffer panic attacks, anxiety and depression on a daily basis and have been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

“I now have multiple locks on my front door and need sleeping tablets to help me get through each 24-hour period. Although my physical health is poor, my mental health is much worse.

“My parents constantly have to go out of their way to help me and by not admitting your guilt to the police I went through three torturous years (waiting for the trial). My life has been ruined by your selfish abuse.

“My life has been in limbo up until this point and I hope I will see justice. Sam Rudge, you thought you had taken my power away from me but you did not. I am much stronger now and I will make sure you never do this to another woman again.”

Judge Jonathan Bennett handed Rudge a two-year prison term, suspended for two years. Under its terms he must carry out 175 hours of unpaid work, attend 55 rehabilitation sessions and a 43-day sex offender treatment programme.

He also handed him a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and placed him on the sex offender register, also for 10 years.