November 2016

‘Dangerous predator’ finally jailed for 12 years

terry-smith

Terry Smith, now of Bevan Way, Hornchurch who raped a 14-year-old schoolgirl at knifepoint in a woodland copse more than six years ago has finally been jailed.

Terry Smith, 37, was sent down on Friday for the depraved assault in London Road, Burpham, on the afternoon of September 16, 2010.

The court heard the girl was left unable to have children and at the mercy of school bullies, who blamed her for what happened.

In a statement, read out to Guildford Crown Court, the victim said she was taunted by other girls who labelled her a “slag” and told her she had been asking for it.

“It has changed my life for ever,” said the victim, who was in court to see Smith, formally of Alfold, jailed for 12 years.

He pleaded guilty to two offences of rape and one of sexual assault by penetration.

Smith, an electrical engineer, had been lurking in the area in his van before he pounced when he saw the vulnerable victim walking home from school through some woods.

He grabbed her from behind and held a Stanley knife close to her face before telling her: “Don’t turn around or I will slit you open.”

The defendant then undressed his terrified victim from the waist down before digitally penetrating her and raping her orally and vaginally, prosecutor Ms Abigail Husbands.

She told the court Smith made the distressed school girl keep her eyes shut and count to 200 before he fled the scene.

“She was very frightened,” said Ms Husbands.

The court was told the victim staggered home crying and dishevelled to report her ordeal to her horrified family.

“Because she had never seen her assailant, she could not trust any man she met not to have been the man who had raped her,” said Ms Husbands.

‘Hard to think of a more serious offence of its kind’

Despite widespread publicity, it was not until six years later that Smith was caught when his wife reported him for domestic violence and a DNA sample taken from him matched the swabs taken from the young rape victim, the court heard.

Smith, now of Bevan Way, Hornchurch, initially denied the offences.

“He said he had been in the Burpham area and that a schoolgirl had approached him for sex and that he had obliged,” said Ms Husbands.

Later, however, he confessed his crimes.

Ms Husbands said the degree of planning, the use of a knife accompanied by threats of violence in a lonely spot, were significant aggravating features.

“It’s hard to think of a more serious offence of its kind,” she said.

A pre-sentence report on the defendant described him as posing a future risk of harm to the public.

In an impact statement, which Judge Jonathan Black described as “very moving,” the victim said the trauma of what happened had had affected the production of eggs from her ovaries which meant that she might never be able to have children.

“All I wanted was to be independent and have a loving husband and children,” she said.

But her experience, which happened when she was still a virgin, had coloured her view of sex and left her frightened to be at home if her parents were away or sleep without the windows shut.

“He’s made me afraid to be alone. My friends feel awkward around me. This man has created a permanent barrier between me and my family,” she said.

One of the cruellest consequences, however, had been at school in the aftermath of the attack.

She said the highly-publicised nature of the incident and the fact that she was missing from school the day after meant it did not take long for other pupils to work out that she had been the victim.

“I started getting bullied. The bullying was terrible,” she said.

She said some of the other girls were even worse than the boys.

“They said I was a slag and I had asked for it,” said the victim. “I was tripped up in the street and I was assaulted in a nightclub. It still goes on. I was called a slut and an attention-seeker,” she added.

Jailing Smith and banning him from unsupervised contact with anyone under16, Judge Black said the impact on the victim had been huge.

“Your actions have effectively ruined her life,” he said.

A large-scale Surrey Police operation named Operation Zastava was aunched to identify the man responsible for what police described as a “disgusting and terrifying attack”.

Six years on, in August 2016, Terry Smith was identified, arrested and subsequently charged after police discovered DNA linking him to the attack.

Smith will serve the second half of the sentence on licence. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and given a lifetime restraining order against the victim.