August 2021

Erdington rapist refuses to apologise to 13-year-old victim he impregnated

Carvel Bennett

A rapist who had sex and fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl has refused to apologise to the her.

Carvel Bennett, now aged 74 and from Erdington, admitted having intercourse with the young teenager in the 1970s but claimed she initiated it, told him she was 16 and consented to it.

But a jury took less than two hours to dismiss his account and find him guilty of rape at Birmingham Crown Court.

Later today, Tuesday, August 3, he will be sentenced but has already been told he faces a lengthy jail sentence that will likely see him spend the remaining years of his life in prison.

The victim had turned 14 when she gave birth to a baby girl who was put up her for adoption. DNA results proved Bennett was the father.

She had told the jury she was ‘scared’ during the sexual encounter and while there was no physical violence, she did not feel she could resist or fight him.

When she came forward the brave woman also spoke of the moment she realised she was carrying his child but tried to hide it as she continued going to school.

During a trial Bennett took to the witness box to give his twisted version of events. But in cross-examination he had an extraordinary exchange with prosecutor Peter Glenser QC, who asked: ‘Do you feel thoroughly ashamed?’.

Bennett simply replied ‘for getting myself in this situation’ before he added: “It’s caused me a great deal of pain. It’s caused my family pain. I have had to get in touch with the police. In my culture, as I grew up you tried not to have anything to do with the police, that was enough shame.”

When pressed on whether he was ‘sorry’ he vaguely replied ‘I’m sorry for whatever pain caused to anyone else, it wasn’t a deliberate contemplated act’.

Mr Glenser then put it to Bennett whether he was specifically sorry to the rape victim, who had given her harrowing account to the court moments before.

Despite it being undisputed that he now knows the girl was 13 at the time and that she became pregnant, his astonishing reply was: “I don’t feel I have to apologise to her. I don’t feel I have done anything to her.”

Bennett, who worked in fabricating and welding in the 70s, even went on to deny he was attracted to the victim and claimed having sex with her was ‘just something that happened’ and a ‘situation that built that day’.

During his evidence the defendant also made an alarming claim that police officers spoke to him whilst the victim was pregnant but they ‘laughed their heads off’ and took no further action after he gave them his account.