March 2018

Paedophile who gave £1 coin to girl he raped likely to die in jail

An 81-year-old man who repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable young girl was jailed for 20 years.

Liverpool Crown Court was told that given his age and health, Robert Douglas was likely to die in jail.

Douglas, of Eastham House, Eastham Road, Eastham, denied the 16 offences against him and Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said that meant the victim had to go to court to relive her ordeal and “was branded a liar”.

The girl, who Douglas abused when she was aged between 10 and 15, had been promising academically but she went off the rails.

The judge said: “That was the price she had to pay for the abuse at your hands.

“Basically you corrupted her from a very early age and blighted her life from then on.”

He said he had initially put her at ease by apparently showing her kindness.

The judge added: “It was quite innocent at the start but that was before you began to abuse her. That abuse rapidly escalated. You raped her and that happened on multiple occasions.”

The victim had given a “harrowing account” in her evidence about the affect of his offending behaviour, he said.

During his trial the jury of four women and eight men was told Douglas began by grooming the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and she was just 10 years old when he first raped her – at which point he gave her a pound coin.

Douglas, who showed no emotion at all during the hearing, was unanimously convicted of seven rape offences, six indecent assaults and two of indecency with a child. He was cleared of one rape offence. Many of the charges involved incidents on more than one occasion.

Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, had told the jury the offences took place more than 20 years ago when Douglas, a mechanical engineer, lived in Wirral.

He groomed the victim into providing sexual favours to him and gave her money and bought her clothes when she was in her teens.

The judge imposed an extra year’s licence on Douglas and ordered him the sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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