September 2015

Man jailed for raping 14-year-old girl

A young father-of-one who raped a 14-year-old girl in her own home has been jailed for eight years.

Tom Price, 22, was sentenced today at Snaresbrook Crown Court for the attack in Havering in early 2013.

The court heard how the girl, a virgin, had tried to fight off the then-19-year-old Price, but he was “far too strong for her”.

He did not use a condom and ejaculated – an aggravating factor in his sentencing, along with the location of the attack.

Price was arrested in Canvey Island, where he was living with his partner on a caravan site in Thorney Bay Road, “hoping the event would never come back to haunt him”.

Sentencing Price, judge John Lafferty said the length of his sentence reflected the gravity of the offence.

“The victim was particularly vulnerable because of her age and because she was in her own home,” he said.

“She had no previous sexual experience and attempted to fight you off, but you were far too strong.

“You didn’t plead guilty so you get no credit. You were 19, had you been an adult the sentence would have been nine years.”

A sexual offence prevention order was also made, with the conditions that Price never contacts the victim and must not visit or invite into his home any child under 16, other than family members or in cases where the responsible adult knows of his conviction.

Three members of Price’s family were in court, including his partner, who wrote a letter to the judge saying he was a “changed man” since becoming a father.

Mitigating for Price, Matthew Pardoe said: “He was 19 when it happened, he’s now 22. There has been improvement in his behaviour – he moved away and lived a normal life with his partner.

“He was hoping this event would never come back to haunt him. His letter demonstrates maturation, he’s not as reckless as he was in 2013.”

Price, who the court heard has a “pretty poor” record including stealing cars and handling stolen goods, also wrote a letter to the judge.

In it, he said his nine months on remand had given him “time to consider his actions” and he was “extremely remorseful”.