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Nelson rapist jailed for nine years
A ‘PREDATORY’ rapist has been jailed for nine years after attacking a teenage girl.
Lee Reilly, 22, raped his 17-year-old victim after gaining her trust and offering to walk her home.
A judge heard that the Burnley street attack had ‘completely turned upside down’ the life of the victim.
After attacking her Reilly, of Nelson, had told her that he had previously raped and murdered people, and that if she reported him to the police he would petrol bomb her mum’s house.
Reilly, of Dover Street, met his victim, who was described as being in an emotional state, in Burnley town centre after she had left a party.
He started speaking to her and then offered to walk her home. When they reached the Brunshaw area he tried to kiss her, but she rejected him.
Reilly then sexually assaulted the girl before raping her near some garages between Brownhill Avenue and Browsholme Avenue. He then threatened the girl and demanded he walk back with her into the town centre, before two of her friends intervened. Reilly was arrested a short time later.
A jury found him guilty of rape and assault by penetration following the incident in March, but he was cleared of kidnapping and possession of an offensive weapon.
Sentencing Reilly to nine years, plus an extra three years on licence, Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “You are a dangerous offender, indicated by the random nature of attack, the extreme threats, the predatory nature of the attack and the lack of empathy you have shown.
“You threatened the victim in other ways. You said you were guilty of murder and rape in the past and said you would petrol bomb her mum’s house if she reported the offence.
“This incident has had a very great impact on the victim. This was clearly an abuse of trust, in that you had gained her trust to walk her home.”
The court was told that Reilly had 28 previous convictions from 58 offences, but none was of a sexual nature or involved serious violence.
DC Karen Edwards, who works as part of Operation Focus, a specialist team of detectives dedicated to investigating sexual assaults, said: “This has been a truly shocking case. At no point whatsoever has Reilly shown any remorse. He has forced the young victim to relive this horrific experience by having to attend court and give evidence.
“This result is testament to the immense courage she has shown throughout the investigation and subsequent trial.
“This was a calculated and premeditated attack on a vulnerable girl. He is a dangerous man and I welcome today’s sentence.
“I hope that the sentence of this predator will reassure the public that offences of this nature will not only be thoroughly and professionally investigated, but those responsible will face substantial custodial sentences.”
The sentencing comes during a special police operation, codenamed Nexus, which is aimed at reducing sexual assaults, whilst ensuring victims feel reassured enough to come forward and report incidents to the police.
DC Edwards said: “This is an important campaign aimed at highlighting the steps that people can take to make them less vulnerable. This will mean they are at less risk of becoming a victim of sexual assault, along with other types of crime.
“We hope that by making more information available to people they will feel more confident about coming forward and making a report.”