December 2002

‘I have a duty to protect people from you’ judge tells city man who raped young girls

A 45-YEAR-OLD Coventry man was today starting a life sentence for raping two young girls.

John Lees, described as a danger to children, was sentenced at Coventry Crown Court yesterday after previously pleading guilty to two counts of rape on two girls under the age of 16.

Lees, of Hillfields, also admitted three charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16.

The offences took place between 1997 and August this year, shortly before Lees was arrested.

The rape offences took place in 1997, shortly after he met one of the girls, and the second was in August this year, against a second girl.

The court heard he was previously given a four-year sentence at Manchester Crown Court in 1991 for a similar charge, of sexual offences against a minor.

Judge Richard Cole said: “I have a duty not only to punish but to protect people from these sort of crimes taking place in the future.

“You are a risk to other children if you are released and I have to consider that in passing sentence.

“It is apparent from the nature of your offences that you are a person of unstable character and likely to reoffend in future.”

He also ordered Lees sign on the sex offenders register for life.

Stuart Baker, defending, said Lees regretted what had happened and was keen to address the problems in his character.

Det Con Andy McCord, from the child protection team, said: “It has been a traumatic time for the individuals concerned, who have had the courage to come forward to help stop this man from committing further offences.

“The child protection team are very pleased with the sentence given by the court, and agree with the judge’s sentiments that a dangerous man has been sent to prison.”