A TEENAGE girl who tried to kill herself after being raped by an 18-year-old cried in court as she spoke of how the trauma had changed her life.
The girl – one of THREE teenagers raped by 18-year-old Connor Givens – has barely slept since the incident, “does not feel the same around anyone anymore” and cannot have a normal sexual relationship. She said trying to take her own life “was the only way I felt I could get out of this mess.”
“My family was good in supporting me but I do not feel the same around anyone anymore.”
“I did not tell anyone until a year after it happened. It’s supposed to be a big relief. I felt everyone was judging me; that I was a liar for not telling them earlier,” she said.
Givens, of Valentine Court, off Barcroft Street, Cleethorpes, was sentenced to seven and a half years in a Young Offenders Institute for three rapes, after being found guilty of two and admitting the third.
“You have, as a result of this offending, thrown away a promising career in the Armed Forces. You have only yourself to blame,” commented Judge Mark Bury on sentencing.
He ordered the 18-year-old to be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and as he was led away from the dock, the suited youth winked at family members.
Prosecutor Simon Reevell told the court: “These were deliberate and cruel offences.”
The court heard how in 2013, the first victim went to a party. Alcohol was drunk, the then 16-year-old asked her for sex and was emphatically told no.
The party ended, the victim and a friend looked for a room to sleep in and they found an empty room. Later, he came into the room, grabbed the teenager, and raped her. Sometime later he told a friend: “She tried to be a bitch to me. I got her back.”
Before he was arrested, in the same year, the youth met up with another teenage girl and a friend of hers.
Drinking took place and the youth raped her and then tried again. He was arrested and told police non-penetrative consensual sex took place.
On another occasion, while on bail, he was at a party. Another teenager was affected by alcohol and went to lie down on a bed.
“It was apparent she was intoxicated. He raped her,” continued Mr Reevell.
The girl’s mum saw a diary entry about the incident and the defendant, who was now 17, was interviewed again.
The second victim told the court how “every aspect” of her life had changed since her ordeal.
Her statement said she had hardly slept properly since the rape, how her family has had to move and how relationships have been spoilt.
She suffers mental health problems and is being treated for post-traumatic stress and has tried to kill herself twice.
“I can’t have normal sexual relationships,” she said.
“I don’t know how to deal with having a proper relationship now,” she said.
The girl added she wanted the offender to be punished and hopes he learns from it.
Mitigating, Charlotte Baines said her client initially did not accept the verdict of the trial for two of the cases, leading to some “very negative comments” in a pre-sentence report.
Her client had changed his attitude to the three ‘complainants’ and to women in general, leading to the guilty plea for the third matter.
“He’s ashamed of what happened. He’s beginning to recognise the effect of what he has done to the complainants,” she said.
The lawyer said her client had “bundles of character references” saying these matters aside, he respects others, is honest and has integrity.
He was forging a career in the Armed Forces but this was now a closed door.
Sentencing, Judge Bury noted how the 18-year-old had manipulated his first victim, before committing an “extremely painful rape” with “no regard to her feelings”.
“What you said afterwards to her friend was disgusting,” he continued.
Of the second victim, who had spoken in court, he said: “You took advantage and raped her when she was unable to give consent and fight you off,” he said.
“That offence was serious. There was a significant breach of trust.
The third case was at another party where the victim was drinking and taking cannabis, putting her in a state where she could not look after herself.
Judge Bury added the 18-year-old could be released on licence after serving half of his sentence.