August 2013

Child rapist’s guilt admission was recorded on phone

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A CHILD rapist has been jailed for six years after his grown-up victim recorded his confession over the telephone.

Benjamin Mawdsley, now 24, of no fixed address, raped a 14-year-old girl over a two-year period when he was aged 18 and 19.

Years later, upon spotting him in Chelmsford town centre, his victim set about catching her abuser.

She set up a telephone conversation with him, during which he was recorded.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday: “This contact was against a background of intimidation and coercion.

“She was a vulnerable and damaged person, given to self-harming and in fear of you.”

He said Mawdsley was abusive and violent to a girl of whose age he was aware.

Prosecutor Mark Lakin said Mawdsley explained how in the secret recording she was described as an ‘easy target’.

Mawdsley’s family sobbed in court following the sentence before one shouted: “It’s disgraceful.”

Mitigating Clare Ashcroft said Mawdsley, who said he was drinking and self-harming at the time, was remorseful when the victim got back in touch.

Mawdsley pleaded guilty to two offences of rape in 2007 and 2008 and to four offences of sexual activity with a child over the same period in the Chelmsford area.

The judge ordered Mawdsley to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and banned him from contacting the victim or associating with any girl under 16 without guardian permission.

Investigating officer DC Melanie Nicholson gave up days off work to interview Mawdsley.

“I would like to recognise the courage showed by this young woman in coming forward to police and reporting what had happened to her as a teenager,” said DC Nicholson, at the conclusion of the hearing.

“Her bravery enabled us to see this man put behind bars. I hope this conviction can help other victims feel confident to report offences to us, in the knowledge that we will do everything we can to support them and bring the offender to justice.”

Back in February 2010, when Mawdsley was living in a Woodhall Road flat, Mawdsley was ordered to attend a domestic abuse and alcohol treatment programme after a violent outburst at his mother’s home.

The court heard how on November 6, 2009, he drunk six pints and 12 shots before smashing picture frames, plates, glasses, a bowl and internal decorations.

After grabbing a woman by the throat when she tried to call the police, his mother, Wendy, asked him to leave but he returned banging on the door.

He smashed through a window, cut his wrists and pointed it at his girlfriend, before police arrived with a tazer gun.