A 25-year-old man who tried to rape a two-year-old girl and seriously sexually attacked two other youngsters received a 22-year sentence today.
A judge ruled that Michael Fletcher is dangerous and jailed him for 14 years with an extended licence of eight years.
Fletcher, formerly of Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, showed not a flicker of emotion during his sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court where he had admitted attempting to rape the toddler.
He had also pleaded guilty to raping an eight-year-old boy and three offences of sexual activity with a girl when she was aged about 13.
Jailing jobless Fletcher, described as having mild learning difficulties, Judge Andrew Hatton said, “Your offending is extremely serious and I have to consider whether you are dangerous and whether you pose a significant risk of serious harm of committing further specified offences.”
He said that a psychiatrist had narrowly decided he did not but the author of a probation report found that he was a danger and the judge said he agreed with that finding.
Fletcher, who has been living in a residential centre in Pemberton, Wigan since the offences came to light, was told that he will have to serve two thirds of the 14 years.
Judge Hatton ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and he also imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Behaviour Order.
Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said that it was only after the most recent offence, the attempted rape of the two-year-old came to light last March that details of the other offences, which occurred between 2007 and January last year, also came to light.
The two-year-old complained of pain to her mum and told her what had happened. When asked about her allegations Fletcher said, “as if I would do that” but when further quizzed he admitted it was true.
His mother said that she was concerned about his lack of remorse and comprehension over his behaviour.
After that offence came to light a girl said that when she was 12 or 13 Fletcher had seriously sexually abused her and a boy told how he had raped him when he was about eight years old.
He said he had been scared of Fletcher who had been aggressive and violent towards him. The boy said that telling police about it had been cathartic as he had been blanking it from his mind, said Mr Parry-Jones.
Fletcher initially denied the allegations but then went on to make frank admissions, he added.
The court heard that the toddler’s personality had changed since the offence and she with withdrawn and mistrusted men and Fletcher had taken her innocence away and she is now exhibiting sexualised behaviour.
David Morton, defending, said that Fletcher has no previous convictions. “He utterly struggles to articulate his thoughts and feelings,” he said.
“He knew it was wrong but was unable to express himself why he had allowed his behaviour to progress into criminality. “This just happened’, Fletcher said.”
He used to use cannabis and has a three-year-old son though is no longer with his partner, said Mr Morton.