Trio sentenced for sex offences against teenage girl


A young woman and two men found guilty of sex offences against a 16-year-old girl have today been sentenced.

Amber Roderick, aged 19, of no fixed abode, Joseph Lawrence, aged 29, from Oxford Road, Reading, and Patrick Maughan, aged 26, from Sun Street, Reading appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Thursday 19 January 2012 and were sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence (due to being deemed a dangerous offender), 7-years imprisonment and 6-years imprisonment respectively.  All three were also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register.

At Reading Crown Court on 06 October 2011, Roderick pleaded not guilty to assault by penetration and causing a person to engage in sexual activity, Lawrence pleaded not guilty to rape, and Maughan pleaded not guilty to attempted rape and rape.  They were all found guilty of their respective offences, by a jury on 09 December 2011 after a two-week trial at Reading Crown Court.

The court heard that on 03 April 2011, the 16-year-old victim (now 17) was taken, with her consent, to an address in Reading by Maughan in his van.  She had arranged to meet Roderick at the address, but found there were a number of other men present, including Lawrence.  The trio gave the victim alcohol and subjected her to an ordeal of sexual abuse, during which she was threatened by Lawrence with a knife and raped by him.  Maughan attempted to rape her, and when he was unable to do so, with the aid and encouragement of Roderick, he raped her orally.  Roderick also sexually assaulted the victim.

The court was told that on a couple of occassions the victim tried to ring for help and tried to seek refuge in the bathroom before eventually escaping.

Victoria Griffiths, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS0 said: "These were horrendous offences committed and encouraged by a supposed friend.  The use of force upon the 16-year-old girl and the fact there were a number of people involved, increases the severity and seriousness of these offences.

"Roderick was an 18-year-old girl at the time of the offence and was on Licence for very serious sexual offences committed when she was just 15, in Cardiff.

"In this case, Roderick appeared to be the ringleader.  She befriended the 16-year-old girl in Reading and lured her to the address she was staying at and where Lawrence and other men were present.

"The CPS takes all allegations of rape seriously and has specialist rape prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offences cases.  We work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support.  Cases of rape and other serious sexual offences can be extremely difficult to prosecute.  Such cases need to be dealt with very sensitively.  The sentences given today recognise the severity of the offences and the vulnerability of the victim.  We will continue to vigourously prosecute offenders who target young and vulnerable victims.

"I hope that today's sentences provide the victim with some measure of justice that will help her put this terrible episode behind her and move forward in her life."

Detective Constable Russell Prentice of Thames Valley Police said: "I am really pleased with the result of the trial and the sentence.  I hope the outcome will help the young victim begin to put some closure to what happened.  My colleagues and I have completed a lot of detailed work when investigating this sensitive and complicated case and worked closely with the CPS and their specialist rape prosecutors.

"Thames Valley Police takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously.  We have specially trained officers available 24 hours a day to manage the needs of people reporting crimes of this nature and now have two Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) called Solace Centres to provide specialist facilities including medical care, counseling, sexual health services and provisions to gather evidence."