March 2009

Eight years for OAP who raped girl, 11

A SERIAL rapist has been jailed for eight years for inflicting almost a decade of sexual abuse on a young girl.

Raymond John Coulson was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court for five counts of rape, two of indecent assault and two of indecent sexual activity with a child.

It followed an 11-day trial in December, in which a jury heard how the man, now 71, preyed on the girl from the age of seven while her mother’s back was turned.

Coulson, of Whitton Close, Swavesey, made her touch him intimately at the age of seven before the offences escalated to rape, which occurred repeatedly when the girl was between the ages of 11 and 15.

It eventually culminated in the mid-1980s when the victim gave birth to Coulson’s child, which was given up for adoption.

Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate said: “This was a prolonged campaign of sexual abuse and serial rape of a girl.

“You secured her silence by threats and blighted her childhood. She endured these violations in secret misery.”

Coulson had denied all the charges, maintaining his relationship with the girl was consensual and he had never had full sex with her until she was 16.

He even tried to question DNA evidence, which showed he was the father of her child.

The offences only came to light when the girl, now in her 20s, informed a counsellor of her abuse in 1997 – more than a decade after the end of her ordeal.

She told her husband to write a letter to Coulson, warning him he would “suffer” for his crimes, yet police were not contacted until 2007, 10 years later.

Roger Harrison, mitigating, asked the judge to impose a lenient sentence, as Coulson had already suffered knowing the victim could report him at any time.

“He has been living a nightmare since he received that letter”, he said.

“What he has suffered in these past 12 years must be almost as bad as a prison sentence. This is a case where the delay has been deliberately caused by the complainant to make the defendant suffer.”

He also asked Coulson’s failing health, which has seen him receive treatment for angina, ulcers and strokes, be taken into consideration. He added there was a high risk that Coulson could die in prison.

However, Judge Bate imposed an eight-year sentence for offences, which he said were “representative examples” of the sexual abuse suffered by the girl for nine years.

The sentence includes eight years for the rape charges, four years for the indecent assaults and two years for the gross indecency, which will be served concurrently.

Coulson will serve half the sentence in prison and half in the community on parole, when he will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.