August 2023

Pervert subjected a young girl to a three-year campaign of rape

A man who subjected a young girl to a three-year “campaign of rape” has been jailed for over 19 years.

Anthony Reynolds, 42, from Melton Mowbray, pleaded guilty to charges of raping a girl aged 13 and two charges of raping a girl under 13.

He was sentenced to 231 months in prison at Gloucester Crown Court.

Judge Ian Lawrie told the girl: “You should be proud of your courage. You didn’t budge an inch.”

In a victim-impact statement the girl, who is from Gloucester, said: “I was wondering why this was happening to me and what I had done to deserve it?”

Prosecutor Ellen McAnaw told the court that the victim was about 10 years old when the offending started and was 13 when she told a school friend in January of this year.

Ms McAnaw said it was “effectively a campaign of rape”.

Police were alerted and the girl told them how Reynolds had been raping her about once a fortnight for three years or more.

She said: “After he did it to me I would just sit there crying and terrified. At school, I couldn’t concentrate and it was all I could think about.

“Now I have told someone about it, I know I will never see him again and I feel safe.”

“I lost confidence in myself,” she said. “I thought I was fat and ugly. I just wanted to be someone else. I didn’t like who I was.”

The girl’s mother said in a statement: “My daughter will, without doubt, carry this with her for the rest of her life.

“What this man has done to my daughter has completely broken me.”

Reynolds initially denied the offences and pleaded not guilty to charges of raping a girl aged 13 on 21 January and two charges of raping of a girl under 13 between 21 December 2019 and 20 December 2022.

But he changed his pleas to guilty when the girl attended court, ready to give evidence against him to a jury.

Judge Ian Lawrie told Reynolds that the statements he had heard had made clear the “pain, emotionally and psychologically, that your abuse has caused”.

He imposed jail terms totalling 231 months as well as a lifelong sexual-harm-prevention order and a restraining order.

The judge said he had allowed a discount of 12.5% on the sentence to reflect that Reynolds had belatedly pleaded guilty, sparing the girl the “torture” of giving evidence.

Judge Lawrie added that Reynolds will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence before he can be considered for parole.

“It takes courage to come forward about things like this,” the judge told the girl. “I know the appalling strain it puts on everyone.

“You should be proud of your courage. You didn’t budge an inch and that made him feel he didn’t have room for manoeuvre.”