Former Penzance nightclub owner found guilty of raping two teenage girls
A Penzance man charged with three counts of rape, gross indecency with a child and indecent assault has been found guilty by a jury at Truro Crown Court today.
Simon Buckfield, who was once the owner of Club 2K in the town, was convicted of all counts and will be sentenced tomorrow.
Buckfield, who lives in Trereife in Penzance, was on trial at Truro Crown Court over charges relating to historic cases involving two young girls.
He was found guilty of raping both of the teenagers, who, it was reported that he also had consensual sex with years later.
He denied all of the allegations that were said to have taken place in his early 20s and then again in his early 30s.
The jury retired to consider itsr verdict yesterday and earlier today and it was confirmed that the 49-year-old man had been found guilty of all counts.
Two of the rape charges, relating to the first victim, were said to have taken place when the girl was just 16 and Buckfield was in his early 20s.
Prosecutor Heather Hope said: “Simon Buckfield took advantage of a drunk and naïve 16-year-old and forced her to have sex against her will.
“He was loud and popular with friends and at the time working in the pub trade. The group of girls were taken to seats at the back of a pub while men went and got alcohol from the bar.”
The prosecutor said that Buckfield and a group of friends took one of the intoxicated girls back to his parents’ house, which is where he was living at the time.
Ms Hope said that he had encouraged the drunken girl into his room before he removed her clothes against her will and forcibly had sex with her.
The prosecution alleged that the shocked girl then lay on the bed while Buckfield left the room before he came back and did the same thing again.
The guilt of what is said to have happened “ate away at her” but, some years later, the victim told police she did have consensual ‘revenge’ sex with Buckfield in an alleyway, insulting his performance to get back at him – an encounter he denied.
The remaining charges related to another girl who was under 14 at the time and Buckfield was in his early 30s.
Ms Hope said that she had no real confidence, but was flattered when told by Buckfield that she was pretty.
“She wanted a boyfriend, but not sex, and was invited to drink neat Archers, making her feel grown up and special,” said Ms Hope.
“It started with kissing, heavy petting and touching over clothes. He did whatever he wanted and took whatever he wanted.”
Ms Hope said that, when the girl said no to sex, Buckfield raped her anyway.
Again, Buckfield is said to have sex with the girl some years later, an assertion Ms Hope says happened as “she still had feelings for him”.
After Ms Hope’s closing argument defence barrister Simon Laws QC immediately set about discrediting the claims, saying the prosecution’s case was based on “nothing but words” and, as the alleged offences took place many years ago, there are many things he couldn’t rely on in terms of defence, such as his mum and dad no longer being alive and able to say if anybody was in the house.
During the trial a number of Buckfield’s friends, who the victim said could have been present that day, took to the stand and said they were not there and that Buckfield’s parents were very strict on who was allowed to enter the home.
It was claimed that the victim made up the story of consensual revenge sex and later appeared to get on well with him.
Mr Laws claimed that parts of the story of the second victim, such as him leaving a darts match to assault her, didn’t add up given Buckfield’s friends all stated he never left them during an evening out.
Mr Laws said: “Why did she have sex with him later in life? Of all the men in the world why this one? It doesn’t fit with the story.”
Mr Laws described it as a “childish crush” before highlighting inconsistencies with the story she told police, such as whether or not contraception was used.
But the jury ruled that Mr Buckfield was guilty of all of the counts he was charged with.
He is due to be sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Friday, October 13.