November 2017

Rose West’s nephew jailed for kidnapping and raping 12-year-old girl

The nephew of serial killer Rose West has been jailed for raping a “highly vulnerable” 12-year-old girl.

Steven Letts, 39, met the girl at Gloucester Quays while she was on a shopping trip with a support worker from the care home where she lived.

A jury heard he took her back to his Barton Close flat, plied her with drugs and alcohol and then had sex with her.

Letts was sentenced to eight years for rape and 10 years consecutively for another offence of aggravated burglary.

He pleaded not guilty to abducting the girl and raping her, but was convicted of both charges at Gloucester Crown Court on 6 November.

The court heard Letts encouraged the girl to leave her support worker on 6 March after she had approached him in the street and asked him for a cigarette.

She was found the following morning in Letts’s flat by police, who arrested him.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC described him as “a very volatile man”, “a compulsive liar” and “a man steeped in the use of drugs”.

Jailing him, he described Letts as a “dangerous” offender “of particular concern” who should not be released until the parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a threat.

Letts, who refused to attend court for sentencing, had an extra year added to his parole licence and must sign the sex offenders register.

At a separate trial, jurors convicted him and another man of storming a couple’s house in Tredworth armed with a machete.

Letts’s aunt was serial killer Rose West who was convicted of murdering 10 young girls and women whose remains were found at the house she shared with husband, Fred.

He killed himself in prison in 1995 while awaiting trial on 12 murder charges.

The trial heard Letts and the girl went back to his flat to drink apple vodka and smoke cannabis.

He let the girl smoke cocaine through a pipe ‘to see how her body copes with it’ because it was her first time trying the class A drug.

Letts’ friend was also present – but he is said to have left the flat when the girl declared that she was underage.

The rape came to light when the girl asked a social worker ‘how long it’d take to find out if you are pregnant’.

The court heard Letts later kissed the girl in his kitchen where she reiterated her age.

She later became tired and went to sleep under a blanket in Letts’ bed.

He climbed in and began ‘cuddling’ the child before initiating sex.

A statement from the girl said ‘It went from cuddling to just like too far’ and the sex lasted 30 minutes.

The court heard the sex ‘started to hurt’ the child who wanted Letts to stop but felt guilty asking because he had earlier provided alcohol and cocaine.

When Letts was later arrested, police found DNA matching the girl inside his underwear.

November 2017

Serial killer Rose West’s nephew convicted of kidnapping and raping 12-year-old girl

The nephew of serial killer Rose West was yesterday found guilty of kidnapping and raping a twelve-year-old girl.

Steven Letts, 38, plied his young, vulnerable victim with cocaine, cannabis and vodka.

He abducted and had sex with the child after they met in the street and she asked him for a cigarette – and he offered her a joint.

The girl was with her support worker but went off with Letts after the encounter in Gloucester city centre on March 6 this year.

The support worker said she warned Letts the girl, who lives in care, was underage.

Letts, of Barton Street, Gloucester, pleaded not guilty to abducting the girl on March 6 and raping her in his flat between March 6 and 8.

He was found guilty of both counts today at Gloucester Crown Court.

The trial heard Letts and the girl went back to his flat to drink apple vodka and smoke cannabis.

He let the girl smoke cocaine through a pipe ‘to see how her body copes with it’ because it was her first time trying the class A drug.

Letts’ friend was also present – but he is said to have left the flat when the girl declared that she was underage.

The rape came to light when the girl asked a social worker ‘how long it’d take to find out if you are pregnant’.

The court heard Letts later kissed the girl in his kitchen where she reiterated her age.

She later became tired and went to sleep under a blanket in Letts’ bed.

He climbed in and began ‘cuddling’ the child before initiating sex.

A statement from the girl said ‘It went from cuddling to just like too far’ and the sex lasted 30 minutes.

The court heard the sex ‘started to hurt’ the child who wanted Letts to stop but felt guilty asking because he had earlier provided alcohol and cocaine.

When Letts was later arrested, police found DNA matching the girl inside his underwear.

Letts claimed he believed the girl was 16 years old when they met.

Summing up, Judge Jamie Tabor QC read the girl’s statement about events at Letts’ flat.
‘He kissed me and i said i cant do this because I’m only 15,’ it said.
‘He told me sad stories like a couple of months ago he tried to strangle himself.

‘I think he said that so that I’d feel bad and kiss him.

‘I did tell him i was 15 [instead of 12] because I thought I had more of a chance of getting drink and drugs.’

Letts’ mother – who has been present in the public gallery throughout the trial – shouted: ‘I will still fight your corner’ as he was taken down.

The panel returned a unanimous verdict with all twelve jurors finding Letts guilty of both charges.

Rose West was born Rosemary Letts in Northam in Devon to William Letts and Daisy Fuller.

She has a younger brother Graham Letts.

Rose is now an inmate at HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham, after being convicted of ten murders in 1995.

Steven Letts will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Constable Lindsay Tomkinson of Gloucestershire Constabulary who lead the investigation praised the victim’s courage.

She said: ‘I would like to thank the young victim who showed great courage and bravery in coming forward and for our partner agencies which provided invaluable assistance and support to the victim along the way.

‘This has been a difficult case for the young victim to relive in court and for the witnesses who gave evidence during the trial.

‘We will strive to do everything we can to bring offenders to justice and Letts is due to be sentenced for his crimes later this month.’

Steven Letts is the estranged son of Rose’s brother Graham – who would be aged around 60.

Graham, a decorator, unwittingly helped evil Fred West lay concrete at the cellar of 25 Cromwell Street.

Speaking after the murders were exposed, Graham said: ‘I was told the cellar was being converted into rooms. I agreed to help as a favour.

‘I’ll be haunted to my dying day by the thought of what I did.’

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