June 2002

Life for raping girl, 12

A man raped a 12-year-old girl while her mother and two other girls were asleep in the same room.

Carl Lovell, 35, had gone to the house where a girl was sleeping on the living room floor with her friend.

He raped the terrified girl while her mother slept just feet away and while the two other girls lay close by.

Lovell, who had a previous conviction for rape of a woman, was jailed for life under the Government’s “two strikes and you’re out” legislation.

Judge Gillian Ruaux said the girl must have been terrified and in great pain.

Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, said at 2am Lovell arrived at the house in Leigh.

He crept under the duvet between the two other girls. After a few minutes he indecently assaulted and then seriously sexually assaulted the victim.

Even though she was in great pain the terrified girl lay still and said nothing. All the time the two other girls were in the same room and the 12-year-old victim’s mother remained asleep on the sofa nearby.

On leaving he warned the victim not to say anything.

But the moment he left, the girl locked the door, woke her mother and told her what had happened before bursting into tears.

Lovell, of Slater Street in Leigh, appeared at Bolton Crown Court for sentence following his conviction after trial.

He had been convicted of rape and indecent assault of the 12-year-old victim on August 13 last year. Lovell had a long criminal record, with 46 offences.

They included dishonesty and offences of violence, of having offensive weapons and also driving matters.

But the most serious offence took place in 1994 when he was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of raping a 29-year-old woman.

He had known the woman and had driven her to a secluded spot where he had raped her. He was jailed for six years.

As this was his second rape he was liable to an automatic life sentence under the Government’s get-tough rules.

Steven Swift, defending, said that Lovell had expressed remorse and regret over the incident and knew he needed help.

Lovell said he did not know why he had done it.

He said that he would not have liked his own daughters to have suffered such an attack

Judge Ruaux said the life tariff should be 14 years.

She ordered that he serve a minimum of six years and 55 days before he could apply for parole.

She said: “Rape is always a serious crime and rape of a child is even more serious.

“It’s the gravest breach of trust that I have ever had to hear.

“You indecently assaulted the child and raped her while her mother was asleep in the same room.

“It’s a totally dreadful crime and your remorse is far too late and during the trial the girl had to re-live her ordeal in court.”

Two doctors had said that alcohol had loosened Lovell’s inhibitions and they concluded he was not a predatory paedophile.