October 2011

Rawtenstall pervert who terrorised girls, jailed for 10 years


A rapist who terrorized and sexually abused two schoolgirls has been jailed for 10 years.

Stephen Fields, 56, raped one of his victims twice, as well as trying to get her to commit an indecent act.

Fields, of Holland Avenue, Rawtenstall, had admitted four charges of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and two counts of rape.

He forced the other girl to perform a sex act on him while holding her down, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The defendant’s victims, who were scared of him, both later suffered depression and attempted suicide.

The rape victim self-harmed, had counselling, suffered flashbacks and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

She felt she had been robbed of her childhood.

His barrister had told the court: “These are offences which would make any decent person recoil in horror.”

The defendant was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and was also given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order, banning him from unsupervised contact with youngsters under the age of 16.

Fields is prohibited from working with children and must take part in a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

Michael Goldwater, prosecuting, said the defendant sexually assaulted the first victim and raped her twice. The second time, he pushed her over and abused her.

Mr Goldwater said the rape victim later began to cut her arms and legs. The other girl told police she went on to drink heavily and was given anti-depressants.

Both found it difficult to get close to people.

Bob Elias, defending, told the court: “This is a hanging his head plea of guilty.”

Unemployed Fields had physically deteriorated since his court appearances and was in tears before the hearing started.

His wife who was aware of the full details of what he had done, stood by him.

Mr Elias described the victim’s personal statements as ‘harrowing’ and added: “The defendant was abused by two predatory men when he was young. These two attacks seem to have been some sort of trigger for this abuse.”

Mr Elias, who described Fields as an ‘old 56’ said he was genuinely sorry for what he had done. He was braced for a lengthy custodial sentence.

He continued: “He is not the same man now that he was when he committed these offences. Against that, there are two victims and the offences have had life changing effects upon them.”

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told Fields: “Sexual abuse wrecks lives and you yourself were abused, as I understand it, as a young person, and you must understand that yourself.”