September 2023

Sittingbourne pensioner jailed for 18-and-a-half-years

A 76-year-old man who raped and sexually assaulted a young teenager has been jailed for 18-and-a-half-years.

Raymond Bareham subjected the victim to ongoing abuse on multiple occasions between 2017 and 2022.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard how Bareham had targeted the girl after a family tragedy, knowing she was vulnerable and dealing with grief. He went on to exploit her and isolate her from her friends and family.

Despite being underage, he regularly bought her alcohol and insisted she drank it. He also bought her gifts and treats.

Bareham of Prince Charles Avenue, Sittingbourne, told the girl they were ‘in a relationship’ and would get angry if she did not do what he told her to do. He also claimed the person she was grieving would approve of the relationship.

The victim was first assaulted by Bareham in 2017 after he lured her to a nearby orchard and the abuse then continued for five years before the girl was able to report her ordeal.

After the victim had reported the offence, Bareham later drove her to a police station to get her to retract her statement, in an attempt to evade justice.

Following an investigation Bareham was arrested and charged with numerous offences including three counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, one count of causing or inciting sexual activity with a child, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of perverting the course of justice.

He denied the charges but was found guilty by a jury following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court