June 2015: Casson has now been released

July 2009

MARYPORT MAN JAILED FOR 10 YEARS FOR RAPING GIRL, 7

PERVERTED John Casson was today beginning a ten-year-prison sentence for repeatedly raping a seven year-old girl.

The Maryport man was jailed yesterday, just three weeks after a jury ignorant of his history as a child abuser acquitted him of raping two 12-year-old girls.

Casson, 55, had admitted five counts of rape and two of indecent assault against his victim while she was aged between seven and 13.

He carried out two of the rapes when the child was just seven years old.

Casson later told police that, in reality, there were many more occasions when he sexually assaulted the child.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Casson’s victim only came forward after she heard that police were investigating claims that he had raped the two other girls.

The girl told police she was sexually assaulted by Casson on a regular basis, between two and four times a month.

During police interview, he admitted that her account of the abuse was correct.

Despite this, Casson was cleared earlier this month of raping two other girls when they were just 12 – but the jury were never told of his earlier guilty pleas to child rape.

Judge Barbara Forrester said she accepted the not guilty verdict following the double rape trial.

But commenting on the rapes of the girl to which Casson pleaded guilty, she said: “No child should ever have to go through what she did physically, or mentally, as a young woman and it is all your responsibility.”

Greg Hoare, for Casson, said his client felt deeply remorseful about his crimes.

But Judge Forrester told the defendant: “Clearly, at the time, you had no remorse.

“You continued to rape her until you believed she would go to the police and then you stopped, to protect yourself.”

Earlier this month, Casson spent four days in court as a jury heard the evidence about the allegations that he raped the two 12-year-olds, both now in their 20s.

The prosecution wanted the jury to know that Casson was already a convicted rapist, but judge Forrester ruled against that, amid fears that knowing the defendant’s past would cause serious prejudice and prevent a fair trial on the facts of the case.

After four days of evidence, the jury of four women and eight men declared Casson not guilty of the two rapes.

It was only after the acquittal that they were told he had already pleaded guilty to raping and abusing the other young girl.

Following the case, the mother of one of the girls who accused Casson said she would campaign for a change in the law to ensure that juries are told of relevant past history in such cases.

In court yesterday, Casson was given a total of 10 years’ jail for all his offences.

He will serve half of the 10 years before being released on licence, but he will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely, said the judge.

When released, Casson will be barred from having unsupervised contact with anyone aged under 16.