January 2011

Eight years in prison for Redcar rapist Gary Smith

gary-smith

A RAPIST who said he was relieved to be caught for his “horrific” sex attacks on an innocent schoolgirl has been jailed for eight years.

Gary Stephen Smith, 35, confessed his sex crimes from the moment a police officer asked him the first question: “Have you raped (the girl)?”

“Yes I have,” Smith said.

He admitted he took advantage of the young girl and “killed her childhood”.

When asked how he felt to be challenged over his actions, he replied: “Shocked that it came out. Slightly relieved.”

Teesside Crown Court heard the sex offender’s words from his police interview. He went on: “I’m not proud of what I’ve done. Quite scared of what I’ve done and amazed that I didn’t stop.

“I don’t like keeping secrets and for this to be out in the open, there was a small amount of relief that it was out there and it was to be dealt with.

“I’ve always felt I’m intelligent enough to know what I’m doing is wrong. But I’m also strong enough to know that I deserve to be punished.”

Prosecutor Joseph Spencer said: “He couldn’t understand what possessed him to do these things. He accepted that what he had done was horrific and he accepted he’d killed this poor child’s childhood as a result of his actions.”

There were tears in the public gallery as Smith, of Dawlish Close, Redcar, pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a child. He had no previous convictions.

Mr Spencer said the girl told Smith to stop, get off her and leave him alone, but he continued to molest her.

After the first rape, Smith said he was sorry, stated he “didn’t know what had come over him” and promised it would never happen again. The underage girl, who cannot be named, told friends and her mother of her ordeal and the allegations were reported.

Smith – understood to have worked previously as civilian staff at a police station custody suite – admitted the sexual abuse when he was confronted.

He confessed to police that he kissed, touched and raped her, and “felt bad but it didn’t stop him trying to do it again”.

He forced her to carry out sexual acts despite her saying no to sex with him.

He also admitted he raped the girl at a time when his own wife was in hospital about to have his baby. Smith said to officers he stopped his assaults when the girl told him he had hurt her.

Robert Mochrie, defending, said Smith conveyed his “unequivocal regret and remorse” to police in interview.

He said Smith showed how sorry and appalled he was at what he’d done by co-operating with the police and immediately admitting his crimes.

“That way the victim knows they will not have to worry themselves at the prospect of having to give evidence at a trial,” added Mr Mochrie.

“Right from the outset he was able to articulate his remorse and was able to articulate his appreciation that he would be punished severely.”

Judge Peter Fox QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Smith his crimes would have lifelong consequences for the girl. “She was a particularly vulnerable victim,” he said.

For Smith’s courage owning up straight away, the judge reduced his sentence by more than a third.

“Nevertheless the repetition of your conduct cannot be overlooked,” he said. “You’ll go to prison for eight years.”

Detective Constable Melanie Phelps said she was pleased with the sentence. She said: “Cleveland Police takes incidents of sexual abuse extremely seriously and will work to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”