Update: Now using Badoo social networking site

Update: Mark McAuliffe has now been released and is living in Exeter 

October 2010

Fire victim’s father jailed for rape and indecent assault of young girls

THE biological father of Torquay fire victim Ben McAuliffe has been jailed for the rape and indecent assault of two girls.

The extent of Mark McAuliffe’s crimes came to light after the house fire that killed his eight-year-old Ben and Stephanie Wojak in Ellacombe last October.

Until then, one of his victims did not know that her attacker had a family of his own.

Mark McAuliffe, 38, was sentenced to a total of ten years after he earlier admitted 13 charges of rape and indecent assault dating back to the 1980s and 90s.

Prosecutor Nicholas Gerasimidis said: “The defendant lost a child in a house fire and that resulted in the matters coming to light again.”

He said that McAuliffe gained “sexual gratification” from forcing the girls to do something against their will.

The court heard that McAuliffe began grooming and indecently assaulting one girl when she was as young as five.

He also faced two charges of raping the same girl when she 11.

He also admitted two more counts of indecent assault against another girl when she was nine years old and four counts of rape when she was ten.

McAuliffe went on to marry and have six children of his own.

Two died soon after birth and Ben, who was living with the Wojak family, died in the house fire.

The others are now looked after elsewhere.

In sentencing Judge Graham Cottle said: “You subjected these girls to routine abuse.”

He sentenced McAuliffe to four years for the rape of one girl and six years for the rape of the other girl.

He also gave two three-year sentences for the indecent assaults against both victims.

All sentences will run concurrently.

McAuliffe was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.