September 2023

Teenager raped a woman in a bed after attacking her while he thought she was asleep

A teenager raped an 18-year-old girl in a bed after attacking her while he thought she was asleep. The victim said she is “not the same person” as she was before being raped.

Harvey Vincent had just turned 18-years-old when he assaulted the victim, who had previously told him no sexual activity between them would take place.

Despite this, he forced himself upon the victim when he thought she was asleep.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday heard the victim, who has lifelong anonymity, was awake through the rape, but was frozen with fear. He first sexually assaulted her before forcibly having sex with her.

The victim hoped her lack of response would dissuade Vincent, but he carried on without regard for her welfare. The defendant was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol at the time of the attack.

After a complaint was made to the police, Vincent, of North Road, Porth, denied the offences but he was found guilty by a jury of rape and sexual assault by penetration, following a trial. The court heard he was of previous good character.

In a victim personal statement, the victim said: “Where do I start? Harvey raped me when I was just 18-years-old. I was just leaving school… For him to do this to me hurts more than the act itself. He raped my mind and my body and I will never be able to trust someone like that again. I have gained strength from this and understood myself a lot more but I have changed, I am not the same person I was.

“Everything I’ve gone through, he needs to understand the damage he’s done, I never feel clean and my skin crawls. When I speak or think about this I need to shower. I don’t like sex anymore… My body doesn’t feel like my body.” The victim said she suffered night terrors, where she would wake up screaming and shouting the defendant’s name.

She added: “I used to be super active and sporty but I can’t do contact sports anymore, I don’t like being touched. Going through the trial was horrendous, the system does not work for victims, it re-victimises and punishes us…. I feel sorry for you (Vincent), I feel sorry for you friends and family…. This has changed my entire life.

“I realise there is life after rape, it’s up to me to make it work. I will never feel responsible for this and will make a successful life for myself despite what he did to me. I will walk with my head held high, he will not dictate the rest of my life.”

Sentencing, Judge Paul Hobson found the victim suffered “severe psychological harm”, having self harmed and expressed suicidal thoughts since the assault. Addressing the defendant he said: “Your actions, in ways big and small, have changed her life.”

Vincent, now aged 20, was sentenced to five years detention in a young offenders’ institute, of which he will serve two thirds before released to serve the remainder on licence.

Judge Hobson reduced the starting point of seven-and-a-half years by a third, due to the defendant’s “immaturity”.

Vincent was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and was made subject to a restraining order for 10 years.