April 2021

Brave child rape victims relive traumatic ordeals as sick monster is locked up for even longer

A ‘cruel’ child rapist has been given more prison time after two more of his victims reported his abuse to police.

David Harris was given a 22-year extended prison sentence in 2016 after being convicted of six sexual offences, including rape, against two children.

Reading the press coverage of his more recent offences caused two of his historic victims to come forward as well.

Leeds Crown Court heard he subjected the girls to horrific abuse that resulted in them both trying to take their own lives as adults.

In relation to the oldest victim, the 60-year-old inmate, previously of Wakefield, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a female under the age of 16 and one count of indecent assault on a female under the age of 16.

In relation to the second victim, he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, attempted rape of a female under the age of 16, three counts of gross indecency with a girl under the age of 14.

Today (Wednesday), he was handed another extended sentence to be served consecutively to the one he is currently serving, which has a 19-year custodial term. 

His new sentence has a seven-and-a-half-year custodial period and three-year extended licence period.

Julian Jones, prosecuting the historic case, said Harris abused the two girls over the course of around a year.

Once, he called the younger girl a “b***h” as he forced her to perform her a sick sexual act. Another time, he called her a “stupid cow” before proceeding to rape her.

During one of the ordeals, Harris tried to rape her and only stopped after she screamed continuously.

The oldest girl told police Harris had been hitting her but did not reveal the sexual abuse. She did not tell anyone about it until 30 years later.

A police officer was later told about both girls being sexually abused. They were both taken into care.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Batty told Harris: “[What you subjected these children to] was borne out of your deep and unpleasant lack of respect for them and made you put your need for your perverted need for sexual gratification above the basic rights of these two girls.”

Both victims described their struggles with their mental health as a result of the abuse, including sleep problems, having to take medication to cope and trying to take their own lives as adults.

In a statement read to the court, the oldest victim said Harris had ‘ruined’ her life and turned her into a very angry person.

She said she has been unable to maintain relationships and does not enjoy sexual experiences.

She also described not leaving her children alone with anyone else and watching her grandchildren ‘like a hawk’.

She said: “I regularly do not fall asleep until three or four AM. I go over the things he did to me in my head – the way he treated me will never leave me. He was a very cruel man.”

In a statement, the youngest victim said she wakes up screaming from nightmares about Harris and her understanding partner has to tell her: “He’s not here.”

She added: “I hate the thought of him coming out of prison. Being raped is like living hell.”

Harris was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life.