August 2015

Child rapist tricked woman he met online into leaving him alone with her son – until she got suspicious

A child rapist has been jailed after being left alone with the young son of a woman he met online.

Mark Wood, of Walker Street, Ravensthorpe, was sentenced in 2008 to 12 years in prison for rape and sexual activity with a child.

He was released from custody last year and banned from having unsupervised contact with a child aged under 16 or sleeping at the same address.

But just a year later he was arrested after breaching the terms of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order, reports the Huddersfield Examiner.

The woman he had been seeing called police after finding out about the 39-year-old’s past.

She had become suspicious after Wood claimed that he had falsely been accused of raping a young girl.

The mum had trusted Wood to look after her eight-year-old son on his own several times.

Wood met the mum-of-one in July via a dating website, Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard.

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, said: “They began a relationship very quickly and the defendant came to stay at her home address in Rotherham.

Trinity MirrorKirklees Magistrates’ CourtSentenced: Kirklees Magistrates’ Court
“He did go there on several occasions and she would leave him unsupervised with her child.

“He did tell her he’d been accused of rape of a young girl but it was all lies.”

But as a result of this comment, the mum became suspicious and asked South Yorkshire Police for more information on Wood.

The shocking truth was then revealed that in November 2008 at Bradford Crown Court her boyfriend of six weeks had been jailed for 12 years for rape and sexual activity with a child.

Wood was released from prison last August but still had to comply with the SHPO as well as his terms as a registered sex offender.

Following his arrest he claimed that he was dyslexic and unsure about the conditions of his order.

Mohammed Arif, mitigating, said: “He acknowledges he was left with the child unsupervised.

“This was for short periods of time, for example when she (his mum) was at the local shops.

“There’s no further complaint of a sexual nature against Mr Wood.

The Huddersfield court heard that the couple’s relationship is now over and the mum wishes no further contact with Wood.

He has now been recalled to prison and may serve the five years remaining on his original sentence.

District Judge Philip Houlden told Wood: “You’ve breached the order in the first year of its proper life.

“You misled this lady as to your previous involvement with the courts system.”

He sentenced Wood to six months in custody for breaching the order.

Judge Houlden also made an indefinite restraining order banning Wood from contacting his former girlfriend and going to her home.