February 2021

Preston child rapist jailed for longer

A child sex offender has had his jail sentence increased following an intervention by the Solicitor General, Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP.

Paul Fox, 43, was found guilty of a series of child sex offences in September 2020.

The offences took place between 2004 and 2005, when Fox was 27. The victims were aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the offences.

On 9 September 2020, Fox was sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment and a sexual harm prevention order for life at Preston Crown Court.

Following the court’s decision, the Solicitor General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. On 25 February the Court found the sentence to be unduly lenient and increased it to 12 years’ imprisonment.

September 2020

Sadistic rapist waited outside school gates and swimming baths to target teenage girls

A sadistic rapist who targeted schoolgirls in the 2000s has been jailed.

Paul Fox, 43, waited outside school gates and swimming baths, and followed his victims on their paper rounds before carrying out violent sex attacks on them.

One of his victims was tied to a tree in woods and raped by Fox, and the other was forced to have sex with him as she cried in pain, a court heard.

The schoolgirls, aged 14 and 15 at the time they were raped by Fox, were unable to tell anyone about their suffering but more than 15 years after he carried out the crimes, Fox has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Recorder Peter Reid QC, sentencing, told him: “You were accurately described as a sexual predator.”

During a trial at Preston Crown Court, the women, now in their 30s, told how Fox “enjoyed seeing them in pain”.

His first victim met her abuser when he offered her a lift home from school and within a week was having sex with him once or twice a week in his car.

She said she never wanted to have sex with Fox, but he “went on at her” until she gave in.

On one occasion, Fox took her to his parent’s home, where he lived, and raped her.

During the attack he attached clothes pegs to her, causing her pain and humiliation, the court heard.

Shortly after the attack, the predator moved onto his next victim, a 14-year-old girl, who he followed on her paper round.

On one occasion he sexually assaulted her in the garage at his home before taking her inside and using candles to carry out a sadistic sexual attack on her.

When the teenager told him to stop, Fox treated it as a joke, the court heard.

Two weeks after the attack at his home, Fox drove the youngster to woodland, where he tied her to a tree and hit her with a car seatbelt before raping her.

Two years after the attack, the girl told her boyfriend what had happened to her and sought help from her GP.

Both women suffered long term emotional difficulties which had impacted their relationship, self esteem and their ability to trust other adults, the court heard.

When police searched his computer they discovered search terms relating to sadism and schoolgirls.

Fox, of Broughton Park, Broughton-in-Furness, was convicted of sexual activity with a child and rape against his first victim and two counts of sexual assault, rape and sexual activity with a child against the other victim.

The judge handed him a nine year sentence, saying he must serve two thirds before being eligible for release on licence.