December 2020

Rapist sentenced for multiple offences

A man who raped a teenage girl and also had underage sex with another teenager has been sent to prison for a total of 12 and a half years and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

Lee Banks, 27, raped the victim a total of four times, two of them as she lay asleep, and when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court for sentence the judge, recorder Richard Shepherd said that he had shown himself to be a “manipulator.”

Banks, of Ditton Street in Ilminster, pleaded guilty to a further charge of penetrative sexual activity with an under-age teenager.

All of the offences of which Banks was convicted took place in Yeovil in 2018.

A pre-sentence report prepared by the probation service concluded that Banks was drawn to younger girls

In sentencing Banks, Recorder Shepherd said that the victim of the rapes was emotionally vulnerable.

He said: “You are a manipulator and the rapes need to be seen like a man in his twenties exploiting and controlling a girl.

“Two of the offences involved you having sex with her while she was asleep.

“On the other two occasions you made it clear you wanted sex but she made it crystal clear she didn’t.”

He added: “These were not cases where there was simply a lack of consent, but where she positively did not consent.

“You wanted sex, and you were going to have sex, whatever she said or did.”

He said the offence involving the under-age girl occurred when he was 24.

Banks was sentenced to a total of 12 and a half years in custody and made subject to stringent conditions under a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.