May 2017

Schoolgirl, 14, was raped in a park

A schoolgirl was raped in a city centre park after two strangers piled her with vodka and legal highs when she asked them to buy her alcohol, a court heard. 

The 14-year-old victim had decided to ‘leave home’ when she approached Nathan Rusted and William Hunt near a train station in Newcastle. 

A court heard the men set out to make her ‘as intoxicated as they could’ while hatching a plan to take turns in raping her.

The youngster was given a half litre bottle of vodka, which she almost finished, before being encouraged to smoke potentially deadly Exodus Damnation, a former legal high which is now banned, followed by some cider.

After the girl was left ‘staggering and swerving’ and talking ‘gibberish’, she was led to a secluded spot in Walker Park, Newcastle, where Rusted raped her.

Before Hunt could take ‘his turn’ and attack her, the victim started to vomit blood and begged for an ambulance, which the men called and posed as good samaritans when medics arrived.

It was only when the frightened victim underwent examination in hospital that the shocking truth was revealed, Newcastle Crown Court heard. 

Rusted, 18, of Heaton, Newcastle, was convicted of conspiracy to rape and rape after a trial by jury and has been jailed for 10 years with a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sex offender registration.

Hunt, 20, of Whitby, was convicted of conspiracy to rape and will be sentenced later.

The court heard the victim has been let so traumatised by her ordeal in 2015, which she relived by giving evidence during the trial, that she is now in a psychiatric unit after trying to end her life.

During the trial, the girl told jurors ‘they should be ashamed, they have ruined my life’.

A judge said the girl ‘doesn’t want to be in this world anymore because it hurt her too much’ and said her bravery in court was ‘astounding’.

The victim’s heartbroken mother read an impact statement at the sentencing hearing and described her daughter as ‘broken’ because of what happened to her.

She said: ‘She was thrust from a child into an adult world. She feels she isn’t allowed to be happy any more.

‘This has broken her. This crime destroys lives. I wish I could take away her suffering. I have to do the best I can, while watching helpless.

‘This despicable excuse for human beings couldn’t even spare her having to relive the details and forced her to be a witness to this horrid crime at court, made her face cross-examination in her fragile state.

‘This shows to me they have no feelings of remorse or comprehension of what they have done.

‘I believe them to be very dangerous to society.’ 

Judge Amanda Rippon told Rusted: ‘You both encouraged her to smoke as much of the drug as she could, while you both carefully had as little as you could.

‘Your plan to have sex with her was in place when you went to get the drugs.

‘You intended to get her so intoxicated she would be incapable of saying no to your advances or fight them off.’

The court heard after taking the vodka and the then legal high, the pair bought cider to give her.

Judge Rippon added: ‘She very rapidly became incapable of walking without help.

‘She heard the two of you behind her, talking about having sex with her and arguing about who would go first.

‘It was agreed you (Rusted) would have her for ten minutes then Hunt wold take his turn.’ 

When the ambulance arrived the victim was ‘utterly incoherent’ and screaming.

The court heard Rusted has a long criminal record

Hunt is to be assessed by psychiatrists before his sentence is passed.