February 2005

RAPE BEAST CAGED; Father-of-three in terror attack on girl, 14

A WEST Bromwich father-of three has been jailed for seven years for raping a 14-year-old girl after thinking he had ‘got lucky’.

Gary Stewart, 34, was said at Birmingham Crown Court to have ruined the girl’s life after the ‘first time, chance meeting’ when he picked the youngster up after she had enjoyed a night out with friends.

Instead of taking her straight to her home in the Langley area, he drove her to a secluded spot and raped her in his car before calmly dropping her off and offering to meet her again. The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after Stewart, who has children aged 12, two and 18 months, had denied rape.

Investigating officer Det Con Lee Trinder of Sandwell South CID said today that Stewart told the court he thought he had got lucky after picking up the girl in High Street, West Bromwich, in the early hours of July 18 last year.

‘Perhaps the girl was maybe a bit too trusting and she certainly should not have got into a stranger’s car like she did.

‘However Stewart was 20 years her senior, must have known how young she was, and he abused a position of trust by forcing himself upon her.

‘There was no violence used but obviously the girl was terrified.

‘The girl and her family are totally devastated and it is going to take the family a long time to come to terms with it,’ he added.

DC Trinder said that by pleading not guilty Stewart had forced his young victim to undergo further trauma by having to give video evidence in court.

The girl and a group of friends had been enjoying a night out, finishing up at The Marksman pub in High Street, Carters Green, West Bromwich.

They were walking towards a taxi rank when Stewart made his move on the girl, who foolishly accepted his offer of a lift, the detective added. Stewart will be on the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of his life.