June 2015

Holme Wood forklift driver is jailed for raping girl from age of 14

A 52-year-old former forklift truck driver has been jailed for 16 years for the systematic rape of a teenage girl.

George Leadbitter, of Grayswood Crescent, Holme Wood, Bradford, was told his crimes were “wicked” by the judge who sentenced him at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

Leadbitter pleaded guilty to four offences relating to the repeated rape of the girl, starting when she was 14.

He also admitted two charges of breaching a non-molestation order by texting his victim when he was on bail in defiance of a court order banning him from contacting her.

The girl said in a statement to the court that she had not felt strong enough to report the sexual abuse until she contacted the police in April 2011.

She said Leadbitter had made her feel dirty all the time. She felt worthless and as if everything was her fault.

She had sought counselling and been prescribed anti-depressant tablets.

The court was told she had cut her wrists, suffered nightmares and had difficulty for many years with eating and sleeping.

Leadbitter’s barrister, Sara Dodd, told the court he had felt an “overwhelming and overpowering love” for the girl.

He now acknowledged his behaviour was “wholly wrong”.

He had been kept in custody since March and had undergone heart by-pass surgery while in prison on remand.

Judge John Potter told Leadbitter he was determined to get what he wanted from the girl.

“She was abused to satisfy your own perverted sexual gratification,” he said.

Judge Potter said Leadbitter had caused significant harm to his victim for the rest of her life.

“Your acts were exploitative, controlling and designed only for your own sexual gratification and can properly be described as wicked,” the judge told him.

Leadbitter’s probation officer assessed that he posed a significant risk to girls.

Judge Potter made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order barring Leadbitter from having unsupervised contact with girls under 16 for life.

He must also register with the police as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.