August 2023

County Durham taxi driver jailed for over 20 years for ‘harrowing’ rape and sexual abuse of child

A County Durham rapist has been caged for over 20 years for carrying out the “harrowing” sexual abuse of a child.

Taxi driver, Allen March carried out a series of sexual assaults and rapes on a vulnerable girl after grooming. The 58-year-old even went on to send intimate pictures of himself to one of the girl’s friends and left her battling trauma.

March, of Crook, County Durham, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday via link from HMP Durham. He was sentenced for serious sexual offences including counts of rape of a child, sexual assault, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and assault by penetration.

March denied the offences but was found guilty following a trial. He has now been put behind bars.

Joe Culley, prosecuting, said March was aware she was a vulnerable child and groomed her at that time, adding: “The messages he sent to her involved comments on her body and breasts.”

Following the grooming, March escalated his predatory behaviour by sexually assaulting and then raping her. The court heard March also went on to send an intimate picture of himself to one of the girl’s friends and was said to have had sexual chats with a passenger in one of his taxis.

In a statement, the victim said she suffered from flashbacks and self-harm and that March “took advantage of this”. The victim said she thought no one would believe her if she explained what had happened.

Sentencing March, Judge James Adkin said the abuse the vulnerable victim spoke of during the trial was “harrowing to listen to”. He handed March a 24-year extended prison sentence, 23-years of which will be custodial.

He was also made subject of a 30-year sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.