June 2011

Child rapist gets nine years’ jail for repeated attacks on girl

A rapist who repeatedly molested a teenage girl has been jailed for nine years after telling police: “I deserve what I get.”

Mark Tippett, 43, of Boutport Street, Barnstaple, told police he had no excuses for his behaviour towards the teenager, who was under 16.

Tippett, who has lived at various addresses in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, pleaded guilty to seven offences of rape at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Graham Cottle said the crimes were “horrendous” but that he was giving Tippett maximum credit for his early guilty plea and “genuine” remorse, when sentencing him at Exeter Crown Court yesterday.

Sean Brunton, prosecuting, said Tippett repeatedly raped the girl, from North Devon, when he encountered her, in the early 2000s. She told police his behaviour was “repulsive” and he had pinned her down, ignoring her screams.

The court heard that Tippett had been working at the Royal Fortescue Hotel in Barnstaple at one point, although the rapes did not happen there and had no links to it.

He had lived at various addresses including Clayfields Villa in Barnstaple and Highfield Road in Ilfracombe.

“She made no official complaint,” said Mr Brunton, adding the girl confided in a friend and then eventually told an adult in November last year.

The adult alerted police and Tippett, who had no criminal record, was interviewed by police in January this year.

“He said he felt bitterly guilty about it,” said the prosecutor.

“He seemed almost relieved to be admitting it to someone else.”

Tippett said he had a drinking problem over the years and had also had a relationship with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 20s.

He said: “I’m really, really sorry for what I’ve done. I deserve what I get. I’ve got no excuses.”

Defence counsel Richard Crabb said the only mitigation was Tippett had immediately admitted his crimes.

“He wants to be sentenced as quickly as possible,” said Mr Crabb.

He said the defendant’s problem was drink and he had been dismissed from the RAF after five years because of this.

“He’s lived a lonely and solitary existence,” said Mr Crabb. “The defendant knew it was going to catch up with him. He’s relieved it is all out in the open and he’s ready to take his punishment.

“He knows he must now serve a substantial custodial sentence.”

Judge Cottle told Tippett that his victim had suffered depression as a result of the offences.

The judge said her life was starting to improve, as a result of Tippett admitting his crimes, but she would have to cope with the memories returning again in future.

He told the defendant: “What you did, as I think you now accept, really defies belief.”

Judge Cottle said the defendant must put his details on the Seuxal Offender Register for life and he imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order until further notice.