6th Jul, 2022

Coventry Hereward College rapist jailed

A YOUNG man who repeatedly raped another student at a Coventry college which had been criticised for a worrying number of sexual incidents has been jailed.

The 24-year-old from Nuneaton will first be detained at a psychiatric hospital under what is known as a ‘hybrid order.’

He was a residential student at Hereward College in Tile Hill, Coventry, which caters for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The defendant, who can’t be named to protect the identity of his victim, had denied four charges of raping the other young man during incidents in his room at the college and in a shed.

But he was found guilty of all four charges following a trial at Warwick Crown Court last year, after which the case was adjourned for psychiatric reports to be prepared on him.

Following more adjournments for him to be assessed at Brooklands Hospital in Marston Green, he was jailed to seven years combined with a hospital order under section 45A of the Mental Health Act.

Under the ‘hybrid order,’ the defendant will first be detained at Brooklands, but once treatment is no longer considered necessary, if that is within the prison term, he will be moved to a jail to complete his sentence.

Judge Stephen Eyre QC also made an order to prevent the young man, who will have to register as a sex offender for life, being discharged without the approval of a Mental Health Tribunal.

During the trial the victim, assisted by an intermediary, gave evidence from a witness box screened off from the dock after a recording of his police interview had been played to the jury.

Prosecutor Peter Cooper asked him how many times it had happened in the defendant’s room at the college, where he was also a student, and he replied: “I think it was six or seven.”

He said it also happened seven or eight times in a shed in the grounds, and when shown a photograph of the shed and asked whether he recognised it, he answered: “Yes I do. This was one of the locations that he did the ******* thing to me.

“Before he started to do this disgusting thing to me, he said ‘If you tell anyone about this, I’m going to hit you.”

Of what had happened in the defendant’s room, the victim said he had not wanted to go in, but when he did ‘he would do those disgusting things.’

The defendant claimed in court that none of the incidents had taken place, but, after deliberating for more than five hours at the end of the trial in September, the jury agreed they had.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim’s mother told the court: “His symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder continue, despite increased doses of anti-depressants. It is clear the terrifying ordeal continues to have an effect on him.”

Of the defendant, psychiatrist Dr Suchi Thirulokachandran said he had a learning disability and social personality disorder, and has difficulties in his ability to weigh up the pros and cons of situations.

“He has not got the ability to consider that others might not wish him to act in the way he does, which makes him a danger to others. Without treatment the risk of him re-offending is high.

“He is able to understand right from wrong, but is less able to understand the impact of his actions on others. He can’t delay gratification, and can’t understand the need for consent.”

Sentencing the defendant, Judge Eyre told him: “I have no doubt you knew what you were doing.

“I have no doubt this was the repeated bullying and domination of him, either for your own sexual gratification or as a way of bullying him, or both.

“You knew this was wrong, you knew he would not be able to prevent you from doing it, you forced him to submit to you.

“You lied to staff at the college to cover up your behaviour, and it is apparent that you deliberately lied to the jury, trying to get out of responsibility for what you had done.”

In an Ofsted report published in January last year it was said that governors, leaders and managers at Hereward College had not ensured the college had met its responsibilities ‘in relation to working together to safeguard children.’

But by then the college had appointed a new safeguarding manager, and a subsequent inspection in April found ‘significant improvements’ to the safeguarding processes.

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