Leicester teenage rapist guilty of attempted murder


Police at Victoria Park

Image caption

The victim was dragged into bushes near an entrance to the park

A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of attempting to murder a woman he raped and bludgeoned with a paving slab.

Charlie John Pearce searched for internet videos showing the rape of “helpless” women before the attack, Leicester Crown Court heard.

The woman was left with “dreadful” injuries in undergrowth in Leicester’s Victoria Park and was only found when a cyclist saw a pool of blood.

She said is reminded of her physical injuries on a daily basis.

More on this and other stories across the East Midlands

Pearce denied intending to kill the woman, but admitted two counts of rape.

He also admitted causing grievous bodily harm and stealing the woman’s handbag which he later burned.

The victim said in a statement: “My traumatic head injuries mean that my hair is unlikely to grow again in the places where my skull was fractured.

“I am reminded of these physical injuries, and others, on a daily basis.”

Pearce – who can be named after reporting restrictions were lifted – did not give evidence in the trial and jurors took three hours to convict him of attempted murder.

Image caption

The boy’s defence barrister described at attack as “brutal and gratuitous”

Parents contacted police

The court heard witnesses made 999 calls to report “thudding noises” as the woman was attacked at about 23:35 BST on 3 July.

The woman – who told the court in a statement she remembered nothing of the assault – was found with “truly dreadful” injuries about an hour after the attack.

Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, said CCTV footage showed Pearce – who had been drinking in a pub to celebrate his birthday – carrying a slab or stone while following the victim, as well as capturing him leaving the scene after the attack.

He was also spotted stepping into an alleyway while a police car responding to the emergency calls drove past.

His parents contacted the police following a media appeal, and a “one-in-a-billion” DNA match linked him to the scene.

‘Desolating wickedness’

Mr Aspden said evidence showed the attack was “clearly something that had been festering” in the assailant’s mind for weeks.

“The ugly truth here is that this dangerous young man, for his own selfish reasons, chose to carry out an attack of quite desolating wickedness on a complete stranger and his intention was to rape and kill her,” he said.

Defending Pearce, Phil Bradley QC said the attack was “clearly brutal and gratuitous” but he said “the assault was not intended to kill”.

Justice Charles Haddon-Cave told Pearce he had been found guilty on the basis of “overwhelming evidence”, and adjourned sentencing in order to receive reports.

“In view of the gravity of your crimes, you can expect a lengthy sentence,” he said.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.



Source link