September 2018

Girl, 12, raped by man who forced her to kiss his girlfriend and down Jagerbombs

Image result for John Phoenix/Stacey Westwood

A rapist who took his child victim out to a nightclub and plied her with Jagerbombs until 3am has been jailed for 14 years.

John Phoenix, 30, coaxed the girl, 12, into a ‘long, protracted’ kiss with his girlfriend after taking her drinking.

He then took her back to his apartment, where she passed out. She woke up 14 hours later, with no recollection of what had happened.

Tests showed that Phoenix had raped her while she lay unconscious. The court heard the girl’s ordeal began on September 21 last year after she met Phoenix on Snapchat.

After swapping messages over a two week period, she was invited out for an evening at Cafe Stella club in Leigh.

Police rescued the victim from Phoenix’s flat in Leigh, Greater Manchester following a three day search after her mother reported her missing the first night Phoenix sent a cab to pick her up.

During the hunt, officers had made a public appeal for information about the girl’s whereabouts and Phoenix spotted a picture of her on social media which confirmed she was 12.

He said: ‘Is that you?’ and she said ‘Yes’ – but he then kept her in his flat whilst he went out with friends.

When arrested he claimed he thought the girl was 17. She has since tried to kill herself. In a statement, the girl’s mother said:

‘This is every parent’s worst nightmare and I feel like I have failed in my parental duties.

I felt so angry when he said that he thought she was 17. I am so worried about her, I have even contemplated sleeping by the front door just in case she tries to leave again.

‘She is so precious to me and I don’t want to hear how she blames herself for what happened and how she wants to die. When I found out what the female did to my daughter as well, I felt sick. I found it hard to comprehend.’

The girl said: ‘What happened with John Phoenix will change me forever; I thought he was a friend.

‘Finding out the science results, I couldn’t believe it and I was so upset. I will not refer to it as sex, I will refer to it as the mean thing because it was a mean thing to do.

‘I was so upset with myself because I didn’t think an adult of John’s age would ever do anything like that to a 12 year old.

‘If I didn’t really know what John wanted then how will I be able to judge anybody else in the future. I feel like I will be in the dark.’

At Bolton Crown Court Phoenix was jailed for 14 years after he admitted rape. He was found guilty of child abduction at an earlier hearing.

His girlfriend Stacey Westwood, 29, admitted sexual assault and was given four months jail suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for seven years.