April 2010

Court told of Padgate man’s three-year reign of terror

A MAN has been found guilty of repeatedly raping a five-year-old girl.

Padgate resident Shane Roberts was convicted at Warrington Crown Court on Friday after pleading not guilty to six counts of rape and one of sexual activity with a child.

His victim was only four when the attacks began in September 2008.

Roberts, aged 30, continued to attack the young girl until Bonfire Night last year when he was caught by her mother abusing the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Prosecution barrister Matthew Dunford told the court how Roberts ‘repeatedly raped’ the child over a three-year period.

The counts on the indictment only represent ‘specimens’, meaning the abuse was likely to have happened more often.

After being caught Roberts fled the scene before handing himself in to police at 2am on November 6.

During his interview he signed a confession, before later denying the allegations of rape because they were ‘sick’.

After a five-day trial, however, Roberts was found guilty of all counts.

The victim, now aged six, gave video evidence in court during which she told how Roberts made her perform sex acts otherwise he would touch her, which ‘hurt’.

The defendant remained completely impassive while watching the child’s evidence, something Judge Thomas Teague said was ‘striking’.

The victim also added that she had not told her mother about the abuse because she feared getting into trouble.

Defending, Eric Lamb asked the child if she had made the allegations up but she answered ‘no’ before confirming that the first rape had taken place when she was in reception at primary school.

After Roberts was convicted, Judge Teague said: “During the whole video interview, you appeared unmoved which I find striking.