Man jailed for schoolgirl rape

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A MAN has today been jailed for raping a 13-year-old girl on her way to school.

Paul Fenner, 26, of Hope Street, Astley pleaded guilty at an earlier date to one count of rape.

Today, (Friday) he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to spend eight years in prison.

Fenner has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and received a lifetime ban prohibiting him from working with children and vulnerable people.

On Tuesday, June 18, at around 8am, a 13-year-old girl was walking near to the Merlewood Drive area of Astley, on her way to meet some friends before school.

As the girl was walking along a path, she was approached from behind by a man who covered her eyes and threatened to kill her if she didn’t do what he said.

The man then dragged the girl into an area of nearby wasteland, where he raped her.

Details of the attack were issued to the media and public a short time later, as officers worked to track down the man responsible.

Numerous calls with information were received from the public and the next morning Fenner was arrested for the attack. He was later identified by several witnesses who had seen him in the area shortly before the rape took place.

Detective Inspector Damian Simpson from GMP’s Serious Sexual Offences Unit said: “This young girl suffered a horrific attack at the hands of Fenner and genuinely feared for her life during her traumatic ordeal.

“People in the nearby area were utterly shocked to hear what had happened to a young girl from their community as she was simply walking to school that morning, and we received a huge response from the public who wanted to do all they could to help us find her attacker.

“I hope Fenner’s young victim can today take some solace from seeing him put behind bars for a long time for what he did to her and that she can now try to move on from what happened that morning.

“There are a number of specialist support services available for victims of rape and sexual abuse, which are offered from the first point of call. This support can help victims through the police investigation and court process, and is available afterwards for as long as the individual feels they need the help of those services.

“This case highlights just how seriously we take allegations of rape and sexual abuse and I hope others who have suffered such abuse are encouraged to come forward and report it to police.”