24th Apr, 2019

Depraved pervert jailed for 21 years for rape and sexual abuse of young girls

A DEPRAVED pervert who carried out a campaign of sexual abuse and rape of young and teenage girls has been jailed for 21 years.

And Stephen Pearson inflicted one last humiliation on his victims by making them, many years later, re-live their ordeals in court where he arrogantly claimed none of the incidents happened.

But after a two-week trial a jury at Warwick Crown Court took less than eight hours to convict Pearson, of Southway, Whitnash, Leamington, of 11 of the 13 rape charges he had faced.

The 50-year-old was also found guilty of eight other sexual offences against three victims he had targeted over a period spanning ten years from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s.

Finding Pearson posed an ongoing danger to young girls, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC jailed him for 21 years, with an extended seven-year period on licence.

He will have to serve at least 14 years before the Parole Board can even consider whether it is safe to free him.

When he is released he will be on licence for the rest of that term and for a further seven years, during which time he can be recalled to jail if his behaviour gives any cause for concern – and he will have to register as a sex offender for life.

During the trial prosecutor Anthony Warner told the jury: “This case concerns the sexual abuse by this man of three women when they were young girls or teenagers between 1992 and 2005.”

Pearson’s first victim was a 14-year-old girl who he met when he was cruising around Warwick and began chatting to her.

But his most serious offences, still in the 1990s, were against a very young girl, beginning when she was just six or seven years old, and progressing to raping her on a regular basis.

Pearson was married by the time of those offences, but took the little girl back to his home where he abused and raped her, both in the house and in a garden shed.

Pearson’s abuse of her continued as she got older, including raping her 15 times in a single day.

It was the bravery of that victim in 2017 by walking into Leamington police station carrying a sheaf of notes about her childhood ordeal that prompted Pearson’s arrest.

That led to officers tracing his first victim and another woman who revealed she had also been repeatedly sexually abused and raped by Pearson in the early 2000s when she was 15.

Pearson denied the offences when he was arrested, and when he was questioned in court, he arrogantly replied: “It’s easy to say things, but they didn’t happen.”

After the jury’s verdicts, his barrister Graeme Simpson said simply: “I have no personal mitigation to put forward.”

Jailing Pearson, Judge Lockhart told him: “You have made a misery of the lives of three young women.

“I begin with the youngest who you systematically groomed and abused. She says every day is a constant battle. She is re-living every day what you did to her, and every night goes to bed and thinks ‘might it be better if I don’t wake up?’

“She finds it so bad being intimate that she covers her face as she did when you raped her, and she still suffers nightmares. She says she constantly worries you may be abusing other children, which is why she came forward.”

Of another of the victims, who said Pearson had taken her childhood, the judge said: “You groomed her for sexual conduct, you, a man nearly twice her age. Her distress is clear now, nearly 30 years after the events.”

In relation to the first rape of the youngest girl, Judge Lockhart commented: “One can only shrink back from the horror that one event would cause – but you went on across years. You left the life of this young child in ruins.

“Arrested and interviewed, you did not admit matters, but told compound lies, as you continued to do during this trial.

“This was a very long and sustained campaign of child rape, and there was degradation and humiliation, and there was a significant degree of planning.

“I find you have conducted a ten-year campaign of rape against three young girls

“I am sure you are dangerous, and the danger is of you committing further offences of child rape.”

After jailing Pearson, Judge Lockhart turned to the three women and told them: “Your ordeal has been a long one. None of us could begin to imagine how this all felt.

“The hope of the court and all of us involved in this case is that your lives, so long darkened by this, will henceforth see a glimmer of light, and that in due course you will emerge from the darkness.”

And he commended the officers in the case, commenting: “It is an investigation which has been conducted with vigour, but also with sensitivity.

“The people of Warwickshire can be proud of the officers who brought his dangerous man to justice.”

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