March 2015

Man who raped woman and also groomed schoolgirl jailed for five years

Luke Matthews

A MAN who raped a woman on New Year’s Eve and groomed a vulnerable under-age girl has been jailed for five years.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Luke Matthew forced his rape victim to watch the attack in a mirror following a night out with her in December 2011.

Prosecutor barrister Denise Breen-Lawton said the pair got into bed together and Matthew forced himself on the woman, who cannot be named.

In a victim statement, the woman said the experience had left her suffering from anxiety, periods of insomnia and flashbacks.

The court heard she did not report the incident until later – after Matthew had become involved in a relationship with a 15 year-old girl.

In September 2013, Matthew and the teenager started texting each other and exchanging messages on Facebook while the girl was living away from her parents.

Miss Breen-Lawton said Matthew, of Newhall Park Drive, West Bowling, had suggested the pair meet up, saying they could “have fun, but not sex” as the girl was too young.

At one point, he invited her to bed with him.

The court heard the girl’s mother confronted Matthew about the relationship and the contact then stopped.

He was interviewed by police and arrested in relation to both offences on September 20, 2013, after the rape victim came forward after leaning about Matthew’s relationship with the girl.

Matthew, 37, admitted charges of rape and grooming at previous hearings.

Mitigating, Matthew’s barrister, Andrew Walker, told the court his defendant hadn’t attempted to excuse his actions and had shown remorse for the “harm and distress” caused to both victims.

Sentencing Matthew for the rape yesterday, Judge Peter Benson said: “It is clear to me she made it crystal clear she didn’t want sex and was not consenting in any way.

“You used physical force to force her to have sex with you.”

In relation to the grooming offence, Judge Benson added: “The nature of the communication became more sexually-charged, and you invited her to join you in bed.

“What you proposed amounted to what used to be called heavy petting.

“She was a vulnerable child and you knew that.”

Matthew was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for rape, with an additional six months for grooming a child.

He was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered to register as a sex offender for an indefinite period.