Paedophile prayed for forgiveness before statue of Jesus after raping girl – but then did it again
A paedophile prayed for forgiveness before statue of Jesus after raping a young girl but then regularly repeated his sick crimes
Michael Powell, 80, who abused the child more than three decades ago, has now been jailed for 11 years.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that sometimes after the abuse he would “pray for forgiveness in front of a statue or picture of Jesus”.
Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, said the former caretaker used to “pretend that he was getting forgiveness and that it was acceptable”.
The OAP, of Smithystone Close, Wavertree, suffers from various medical conditions and may well die behind bars.
He must serve at least half of the sentence in prison and will only be freed if a parole board decided it is safe to release him.
Mr Rogers said Powell began raping the girl when she was aged 11 or 12, after getting her to do handstands and cartwheels in front of him.
He began touching her indecently over her clothing but his perverted behaviour increased and he continued even when she protested.
Mr Rogers said he started raping her and even did so when there were other unsuspecting people around.
He said: “He asked her to make noises like she was enjoying it and showed her pornography to demonstrate how he wanted her to behave.”
The girl recalled how Powell gave her cash, adding: “The seedier it got, you got more money.”
He gave her alcohol, sometimes without her knowledge, and said he liked it when she was drunk as she would let him do what he wanted.
She initially thought his behaviour was normal but later realised it was wrong, but did not know how to make him stop and did not think people would believe her.
Mr Rogers said she revealed her ordeal to police earlier this year, when Powell was arrested and admitted his behaviour.
The court heard the woman suffers a lack of confidence and low self-esteem as a result of the abuse.
She said by her early teens she was smoking cannabis, drinking and self-harming and was in “self-destruct” mode.
Powell, who listened to the courtroom hearing using a loop system, admitted four counts of rape, 11 of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child.
He used a walker to get around and was helped from the dock into a wheelchair to be taken to the cells.
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said his behaviour had included grooming the vulnerable child and giving her alcohol and money.
He described the abuse as “systematic” and said: “It is obvious it has had a devastating impact on the life of your victim.
“Her view of a normal relationship was completely corrupted and destroyed.”
The judge said he had no doubt Powell presented a “continuing risk to children” and the public should be protected from him.
Judge Menary ruled he was “an offender of particular concern” and imposed an extra year on his licence period.
He said Powell enjoyed life into his old age by avoiding investigation and detection for many years, “denying your victim justice”.
The judge told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.