Man jailed for raping teenage girl - Shenley

28/06/2016

A middle-aged man, who was confronted by his wife after he had raped a 15-year-old girl in their home, climbed 25 feet up a tree and jumped.

Tree surgeon Dale Hyde, aged 42, said he wanted to kill himself after fleeing the family home in Shenley, Herts with a Stanley Knife and a length of hose pipe.

St Albans Crown Court heard today, Tuesday, 28 June 2016, that the police tried to talk Hyde down, but he jumped, only to be caught in the lower branches. He climbed up a second time and landed on the ground, suffering only cuts and bruises said prosecutor Gary Venturi.

The prosecutor said the victim was staying the night on the sofa in Hyde's home. He had drunk 6 to 8 cans of Kronenbourg and had taken cocaine when he left his bedroom on four occasions to go to the living room. On the fourth visit, he forced himself on her, saying: "Don't tell your mum."

Later that night, Hyde's wife confronted him and the girl in the kitchen and she called the police. The prosecutor said Hyde then drove off with a hose pipe, but crashed the car before climbing the nearby tree. He was arrested and made no comment to police questions.

Hyde of Boswell Close, Shenley, pleaded guilty to raping the girl on 27 December last year. He was of previous good character.

Defending, Rose Burns said: "He is devastated by what he has done and through me wants to express his real shame and sorrow for the events that evening. He was drunk and had taken cocaine. This is a one-off incident and it is totally out of character. It was a real aberration - a moment of madness."

Judge Marie Catterson jailed him for 7 years and made a sexual harm prevention order, banning him from having unsupervised contact with girls under 18 or having a job with children. He must also register as a sex offender for life. She told him: "It was appalling behaviour."

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