Photo: Jake Hart – convicted over the rape of a woman in Melling
Merseyside Police can confirm that 15-year old Jake Hart from Station Road, Melling has today (Wednesday, 27 April) been sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment for the rape of a woman in Sefton last year. Hart was sentenced to two years for actual bodily harm, to be served concurrently. Hart will serve a further four years on an extended licence, and will be a registered sex offender for life.
The victim, a 20-year-old woman, was attacked while walking on a canal towpath near to Brewery Lane, Melling during the afternoon of Thursday, 10 December 2015.
Hart was arrested the following day and later charged with rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Detective Inspector Terry Davies from Merseyside Police’s specialist Unity team said: “We welcome today’s sentence, which we hope will go some way to giving the victim a sense of closure.
“Rape is a very personal crime, which can have devastating effects on victims, and I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for her bravery in coming forward and supporting the investigation. There is no doubt that the impact on this young woman has been significant, and will continue to be so as she rebuilds her life. Hart has been sentenced today, but his victim is facing a life sentence. She was living in Liverpool and has since returned home to Austria, with her experience of this country sadly tainted by this experience.
“She has shown great strength in supporting our investigation throughout the last four months and it is testimony to her account that we have been able to bring Hart to justice, and ensure that he is no longer a danger to the public.
“Specially trained officers and lawyers in Merseyside Police’s Unity team have supported her throughout the investigation and trial to provide support and to ensure her evidence was presented to the court and to see justice being done.
“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure anyone who has suffered a sexual offence that if you too can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will deal with you sensitively and make sure that reports are properly and thoroughly investigated.”
Anyone wishing to report a sexual offence can call officers in the force’s specialist Unity team on 0151 777 1382. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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