Friday, January 24, 2014

Colwyn Bay rape attack: Gavin Benit jailed for 10 years after grooming teenage girl

The 36-year-old was also jailed in 2008 for sex with a 13-year-old

Gavin Benit, of Rhyl, who was jailed for 10 years for raping a teenage girl

A 36-year-old man who had sex with a girl less than half his age at a Colwyn Bay hotel has been jailed for 10 years.
Gavin Benit, of Rhyl was found guilty by a jury of grooming a 15-year-old girl for sex and raping her.
The rape took place in the Rothesay Hotel at Colwyn Bay where Benit had been placed in a flat at the time.
He told the jury at Caernarfon Crown Court that sex was consensual.
It was the second time Benit has been jailed for having sex with young girls.
In 2008 he had been jailed for four years for sexual activity with a girl of 13.
Jailing him Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said: “You targeted this young girl and you did so with a view to grooming her for sexual activity. You were not unaware of her vulnerability.”
A Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) was made banning Benit from using the internet to contact girls under 16 without written permission from the Probation Service.
The order also prevents Benit from deleting any messages sent or received from girls under 16 and he must not be unsupervised in their company.
The judge ordered Benit sign the sex offenders register for life. Sion ap Mihangel, prosecuting, had told the jury that graphic text messages seized by police "make it clear intercourse was envisaged and also that the girl was reluctant for this to happen".
The defence case, rejected by the jury, was that the couple had been communicating on Facebook and the girl had said she was 17.
Benit denied telling her he was 19 and maintained that sex was consensual.
In a victim statement the mother said the offences had had a significant effect on the girl.
Summarising the report Mr ap Mihangel said the mother checks on her daughter up to five times a night to make sure she’s all right.
“She thinks this has had a massive effect on her. She says she finds her daughter just sitting in her room and she’s very quiet and withdrawn,” the barrister said.
During the trial Benit – who called the victim “Baby Girl” – admitted he took the girl into his flat, although visitors were not allowed beyond the foyer at the hotel.
He claimed the girl kept asking if he could sneak her into the hotel.
His barrister Simon Mintz, defending, accepted a lengthy sentence was likely but urged leniency claiming Benit had had a difficult and disadvantaged upbringing.
After the hearing DI Kelly Isaacs  of Amethyst Team (North Wales Police Dedicated Sexual Offences Team) welcomed the sentence and commended the victim who had the courage and resolve to stand up to her perpetrator. 
She said: “Benit preyed upon a 15 year old child who was vulnerable because of her age. He had also lied to her about his age and intentions and abused the trust she had unwittingly placed in him.”

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