Man jailed for sexual abuse of teenage girls - Dunstable and Milton Keynes

19/01/2017

A man appeared at Luton Crown Court today, Thursday, 19 January 2017, and was jailed for 15 years for sexually abusing two 13-year-old girls in Dunstable and Milton Keynes.

Mark Rayner, aged 45, from Oldfield Farm Road, Henlow, was sentenced today after being found guilty on 19 December 2016, after an 8-day trial, of ten sexual offences and one count of possessing indecent images of children. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent images of children and one further sexual offence.

The Judge ordered that Rayner must serve at least 10 years of the 15-year custodial sentence before being considered for parole and, once released, will serve any remaining term on licence. In addition to the custodial sentence, Rayner was given an extended sentence of an additional five years on licence. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Margaret Mascarenhas, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity, between a man, now aged 45, and two 13-year-old girls, between 1999 and 2014, in Dunstable and Milton Keynes, and possession of indecent photographs of children.

"Mark Rayner groomed the first girl, via phone calls in 1999, and the second, via Facebook in 2013. He went on to win their confidence before arranging to meet them and taking them to secluded areas where he sexually abused them for his own sexual gratification. Despite some of the sexual activity being consensual, the girls were under the legal age of consent and he was fully aware of that. Due to their age, they were in absolutely no position to give true and free consent to the sexual acts. Following his arrest, numerous indecent images of children, including those of one of the girls, were found on his phone and computer. It is only due to the courage of the victims that the disgraceful behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to them all for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and providing evidence for the prosecution.

"Rayner denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, and in fact denied even knowing the girls, but on 19 December 2016, at Luton Crown Court, he was found guilty of two counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming, possession of indecent images found on his computer, five counts of indecency with a child and three counts of indecent assault, despite his denials. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to inciting one of the girls to be involved in pornography in relation to images he had asked her to take and send to him, and possession of those and other indecent images which had been found by police on his mobile phone.

"We worked closely with Bedfordshire Police from early in the investigation to help build the strongest possible prosecution case. Their investigators, and our Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and caseworkers have worked tirelessly to bring this prosecution to court.

"The emotional impact, on the victims and their families, of the actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and today's sentence give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Detective Constable Mel Knight, who investigated the case, said: "This dangerous sexual predator took advantage of the young age of his victims by building a relationship with them then carrying out sexual activities with them, despite knowing full well they were under the age of consent.

"More than 10 years after he abused his initial victim, Rayner decided to take advantage of yet another innocent teenager, using social media to calculatingly groom her, encouraging her to send indecent images of herself to him before sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

"In her closing remarks for the case, the Judge described Rayner as a persistent predator with an obsessive use of chat rooms, who used pure manipulation in order to prey on his victims who he knew to be underage.

"I'm pleased that Rayner will be made to pay for his actions with a lengthy jail sentence and I hope that this result will allow his victims some form of closure. They have shown incredible bravery in coming forward and throughout this whole process, and I hope this shows others that if you come forward you will be believed and justice is possible."