November 2019

Judge finally jails sex beast who raped schoolgirl

A cruel child rapist has finally been jailed, 16 years after his heartbroken victim was told he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Sex beast Robin Lake “pestered” the teenager during a campaign of grooming.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he even offered the underage girl £30 to perform sex acts on him.

Eventually, when the youngster’s guard was down, he struck.

On Monday, Lake was jailed for 12 years for the rape. In the public gallery, his brave victim was overcome with emotion as he was finally caged.

Both Northumbria Police and Judge Tim Gittins praised the woman’s courage and tenacity in never giving up her two-decade fight for justice.

And speaking after the case, the victim urged other survivors to never give up as she slammed her “sleazy” abuser.

“He groomed me, he raped me and abused me,” said his victim.

“He is just the lowest that there is. He’s pitiful as a person and he’s pitiful as a man.

“I almost feel sorry for him as he’s just so stupid. But it gives me joy to know that he’s off the streets.”

The court heard Lake “took advantage” of the teenager after she had been drinking.

When she reported the rape to Northumbria Police, the court heard there was “initial disbelief” from the force and Lake wasn’t charged.

“I was unable to trust the police and it changed the way I thought about men,” said the victim, who can’t be identified for legal reasons.

Northumbria Police say Lake wasn’t charged at the time due to “insufficient evidence”.

Regardless, the victim refused to give up and fought for the case to be re-opened.

This time, officers believed her account “from day one”.

After a fresh investigation, Lake was charged with rape and indecent assault.

He denied everything, subjecting his victim to relive her ordeal in a trial.

The defendant had claimed the girl was simply “embittered” and had built up 16 years of resentment towards him.

However the judge said her “compelling, truthful account” of events helped finally nail Lake.

Jailing the North Shields predator, Judge Gittings praised the victim – now an adult – as a “survivor”.

“You must have thought you had got away with it,” said the judge to 48-year-old Lake via a video link.

“In fact, she understandably festered away at that decision (not to prosecute).

“I hope that she will come to realise that the actions that she has shown in seeking justice will hold her in good stead going forward.”

The defendant, of Borough Road, was jailed for 10 years for the rape and two years for indecent assault.

The sentences will run consecutively, and Lake will serve at least half.

Lake – who the court heard was in remission from cancer – was also told he must sign the sex offender’s register for the rest of his life.

For his victim, the sentence was more than she had even dreamed of.

“I only thought it was going to be half of that, and even on the morning, I wasn’t expecting anything,” said the woman, who praised the “incredible” response from the force after they revisited the case.

“I’d just say to anybody else going through something similar – keep fighting.”