Money was left under pillow after sex attack on vulnerable teenager

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

First published in News
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A 65-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years after he gave money to a vulnerable teenager who was sexually abused and raped by him.

A judge heard how the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, spent the cash on more cannabis and alcohol to “block out” the abuse she endured at the hands of Michael Rhodes.

Rhodes, who used to live in the Pudsey area, was arrested in 2012 after his victim finally revealed details of the abuse she had suffered about a decade earlier.

Last month, when Rhodes’s case was listed for trial at Bradford Crown Court, he entered guilty pleas to three offences of indecent assault and one of rape.

Prosecutor Sophie Drake told the crown court how Rhodes raped the girl when she was 16 and left £150 under her pillow. Miss Drake said the abuse began after Rhodes told the 14-year-old he would give her some money if she let him touch her breasts.

She said the teenager refused, but Rhodes touched her under her clothing anyway and also kissed and licked her breasts.

The court heard that Rhodes told the girl she was beautiful and gave her £20.

Miss Drake said the teenager used the money to buy cannabis so she could forget what had happened.

The rape offence took place after Rhodes told the teenager he would give her more money if she let him do more to her.

Miss Drake said the girl was saying no throughout, but after committing the rape Rhodes left £150 under her pillow.

When Rhodes was arrested at a farm in Sowerby Bridge in July 2012, officers found a floppy disc containing almost 30 indecent images of children, and in December last year he admitted possessing the child porn.

Barrister Camille Morland, for Rhodes, said: “He should not have offended in the way that he has and now at effectively retirement age he has to face up to those offences.”

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, imposed an indefinite sexual offences prevention order on Rhodes which bans unsupervised contact with children, and he also told the defendant that he would have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.

Rhodes, who had no relevant previous convictions, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for the rape offence with an additional two-and-a-half years in prison for the indecent assault matters.

The possession of child porn offences were dealt with by way of a concurrent prison sentence of six months.

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