January 2018

Man cried in the dock as he was jailed for raping girl

An 18 year old cried in the dock as he was jailed for raping a girl who pretended to be asleep in a bid to make him stop.

Lewis Vidler attacked his victim as she lay frozen and unable to move. Vidler claimed they had consensual sex.

He denied rape but was convicted by a jury in November of the offence on July 22 2016, when he was 16.

Sending him to a young offender institution for two years and six months, Judge Ian Lawrie said: “Your selfish actions have caused significant distress. Her statement shows the clear emotional impact on her life as well as on future relationships.”

He added that he regretted the sentence he had to impose but said he had little option.

Vidler, of Wasdale Gardens, Estover, wiped away tears as he awaited sentence in front of friends and family.

Heather Hope, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the victim had told police she had felt suicidal and had self-harmed since the rape.

Miss Hope added she suffered anxiety and “meltdowns” and had received counselling from a specialist group.

The barrister said the young woman had taken to drinking too much.

She added: “She has been afraid to go out for fear of meeting Lewis Vidler or anyone who knows him. She describes herself going into meltdown if she even sees someone who looks like him.”

Miss Hope said that the offence had affected her relationship with her boyfriend.

Michael Green, for Vidler, said guideline for the sentencing of young people said that custody was a “sentence of last resort”.

He added that judges had to have regard to the welfare of the young person, especially those with learning difficulties.

Mr Green said reports showed there were “real concerns” that Vidler would be at risk behind bars.

The barrister said that the defendant had expressed limited remorse to a probation officer for the impact upon his victim, despite the trial.

Quoting from the report, Mr Green added: “He said he never meant to hurt her.”

He said he had lost his place at college as a result of his conviction.

Mr Green asked the court to take an “exceptional course” and impose a suspended sentence.

Vidler must sign the Sex Offender Register for a decade.