May 2017

Child rapist from Highworth jailed for a decade

A MAN who repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl in Penhill after asking her if she wanted to see his dog has been jailed for 10 years.

Darren Harbour took the youngster to the room in the house where he had digs after showing her his boxer dog called Ben.

Harbour, 46, then had sex with the youngster on two more occasions in the following weeks, ordering her not to tell anyone what had happened

But 10 years later she plucked up the courage to report what happened in 2007 to the police.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the youngster knew people in the area where he lived.

She said the first time something happened was when he took her to see his dog and once she was in his room he told her he liked her.

“She said she didn’t like him in that way. He told her it would be OK as no one knew what they were doing,” she said.

He had sex with her three times and also smoked drugs in front of her, Miss Hingston said.

When he was questioned he said he was using heroin and cannabis at the time and also drinking nine litres of cider a day, at the time.

He also told the police that she had come to his room and taken her trousers down and told them that he should have known better.

Harbour, now of Islay Crescent, Highworth, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape.

Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “She has made a statement recently setting out the affect your abuse had on her.

“That will firstly be long lasting, it may be permanent, so she will never fully recover form what you did. I am satisfied you caused her severe psychological harm.

“You are now 46. In the pre-sentence report you still tried to minimise what you did to her.”

He jailed him for 10 years with a one-year extended licence. Because of the type of offences he will not be automatically released at the half way point of the sentence but instead will be considered for parole.

Harbour must register as a sex offender for life, abide by a sexual harm prevention order and is banned from working with children or vulnerable people.

Detective Constable Helen Bott said: “The victim in this case only felt strong enough to report the abuse she had suffered throughout her childhood in 2016.