January 2021

Sex monster faces years in jail for repeatedly raping schoolgirl

A sex monster faces years in jail after he was convicted of abusing two schoolgirls – raping one of them repeatedly.

Twisted Richard Pearce, aged 47, was found guilty by a jury of 19 offences covering dozens of incidents of abuse over five years.

He groomed one of his victims, sometimes plying her with whisky or cannabis, so she kept quiet for years.

The trial judge remanded Pearce, of Beach Road, Carlyon Bay, near St Austell, in custody and warned he was facing a long prison sentence.

Pearce pleaded not guilty to five counts of rape, three of sexual assault and ten other serious sexual offences against one girl between 2006 and 2011.

He also denied a single sexual assault against the second girl in 2008 at Plymouth Crown Court.

A jury took just two hours to find him guilty by unanimous verdicts on all 19 charges at the end of a three-day trial.

Judge James Townsend adjourned sentencing for a probation officer to assess the danger he posed to the public.

He warned: “Richard Pearce, you have been found guilty by this jury of extremely serious offences.

“I am not going to sentence you today, I need a report to assess the risk you pose in the future.

“You must understand, irrespective of that report, you are facing a very long prison sentence.”

Pearce claimed that he had not touched either girl. Some of the offences happened when Pearce was living in Plymouth.

He told the jury he was “devastated” by the allegations – but could not explain why they were lying about him.

Judge Townsend praised the jury for sitting through the harrowing evidence, especially during the coronaviruspandemic.

He added: “I wish to pay tribute to the victims for giving evidence. It is a distressing thing to do but you have served the public, thank you very much indeed.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the police for the way in which they dealt with this case.”

The 2008 victim made an immediate complaint and Pearce was arrested and interviewed.

But police dropped the matter after the defendant denied touching her indecently.

The girl who was frequently raped came forward to the police in late 2018, prompting the prosecution which resulted in today’s verdicts.

She broke down in tears several times as she bravely stood in Court 3 to explain how she had been abused for years.

Pearce, who used to work in a garage, used to live in Quethiock near Liskeard as well as Plymouth.

He has often been unemployed and spent his time building kit cars.

Pearce was remanded in custody until sentencing on a date to be fixed.