Harold Wood teen jailed for violent rape of Down’s Syndrome girl
17:43 13 January 2014
A teen who raped a girl with Down’s Syndrome in a dark alleyway was jailed for eight years today.
Liam Felton, 18, of Station Road, Harold Wood, led the girl by the hand to a dark alleyway where he attacked her after meeting her just minutes before.
The 22-year-old victim had attended a club for young adults with learning disabilities before heading home but decided to go for a walk once she got in to clear a headache.
The woman is not usually unaccompanied when she leaves the house due to her condition but on this occasion took to the streets with her mother and stepfather in bed, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
She sat on a bench where Felton approached her, engaged her in conversation and then led her away to the alleyway off Oak Road, Harold Wood, at around midnight on September 13 last year.
Felton then pulled the woman’s hair and said “Let me do it.”
When the victim begged him to stop he replied: “Shut up you f*****g bitch or I will kill you.”
The woman returned home where she told her mother what had happened and immediately rang the police.
Her stepfather had been frantically driving around the local area for 45 minutes looking for her.
Felton was later arrested and claimed he could not remember anything as he was high from a cocktail of alcohol, cannabis and amphetamines.
He later admitted the rape attack because “it was the right thing to do”, the court heard.
Judge Louise Korner QC, sentencing, said: “The girl you raped was someone suffering from Down’s Syndrome.
“It is clear that this affects her speech and behaviour and however much under the influence of drink and drugs you were, you must have realised that.
“At the time you committed these offences she was a virgin - the effect that something like that and the actions you committed must have been even more terrible than for a person who was used to sexual activity.
“You took her at night from where she was sitting into a dark alley and violently raped her.
“Her screams were heard by a nearby resident.
“It is clear to a certain extent she blames herself for what you did to her.
“You are only 18 years old and the report makes it clear that you yourself have learning difficulties but not such that you did not realise that what you were doing was wrong.”
Judge Korner sentenced Felton to serve eight years in custody with a further four years extended sentence upon his release.
He is now also on the sex offenders register and will never be allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults for the rest of his life.
The court heard how the victim used to be an outgoing, independent and happy woman who loved attending college and seeing her friends.
She is now said to have become withdrawn and frightened of people and has had to move away from home as she feels she can no longer live with her mother.
Felton admitted two counts of rape.