November 2019

Sex offender back in prison after sexually assaulting 5-year-old girl – Wigan

A convicted rapist who sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl on his way home from prison has been sentenced.

Darren Rothwell, 42, and of Scholes, Wigan, pleaded guilty to sexual assault at Bolton Crown Court on 7th October.

On Friday 8th November, a Judge sentenced him to 26 months in prison.

On 18th April 2019, Rothwell was released from HMP Forest Bank, where he had been serving a sentence for harassment and assault.

At around 9am, he made his way to Manchester Victoria and boarded a train to Wigan where he approached two female friends who were travelling with their young children.

They felt understandably intimated by Rothwell who was swearing aggressively, drinking brandy from the bottle, and bragging about being released from prison.

He added that he was on his way to see an ex-partner who had a restraining order against him, and that he’d be back in prison within two days.

After making a series of uncomfortable comments to the two women, Rothwell asked the 5-year-old girl, one of their daughters, to take her top off and give it to him.

One of the women challenged him on his behaviour, but he went on to try and kiss them both. He was heard to tell the women to Google his alius ‘Darren Noonan’, where they would have found online news coverage of his 2009 conviction for rape, sexual activity with a child and child abduction.

As the train approached Wigan, Rothwell asked the 5-year-old girl for a hug. He went to pick her up, before sexually assaulting her in view of her horrified mum.

The girl’s mum intervened, and her friend pulled her daughter away, before using BTP’s discreet text service 61016 to report the incident.

Rothwell failed to attend his probation appointment later than afternoon, and was quickly identified by officers.

On 20th October, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and breaching his restraining order. He appeared at court on 22nd October charged with the offences and was returned back to HMP Forest Bank.

July 2009

Rapist jailed for attack on girl

A MAN who raped a teenage girl with learning difficulties after she ran away from home has been jailed.

Darren Rothwell, 31, who uses the alias of Darren Noonan, was convicted of rape, sexual activity with a child and child abduction following a trial at Manchester Crown Court. He was jailed for nine years.

Rothwell, of Manchester Road, Audenshaw, raped his victim at his home in August last year. The court heard he took advantage of her vulnerability. Rothwell picked her up in his car and drove her to his home where he raped her.

The case was investigated by the Manchester-based Protect Team, which is made up of police, social service workers and a charity. The group investigates and prosecute people intent on sexually exploiting children.

Det Con Dave Fox said: “This was a shocking case. Rothwell, as a much older man, took advantage of this girl’s age and stopped her from being able to call for help, manipulating her into staying at his home.

He kept the young girl as his virtual prisoner and then raped her, inflicting untold physical and emotional damage. “This case highlights that people like Rothwell do not go unpunished and we will continue to pursue these criminals. If you commit offences against children, we will be coming for you.”