Telford man jailed for raping teenager who now 'barely recognises herself'

A man from Telford has been jailed for five years for the rape of a teenager.

James Ratcliffe raped a teenager. Photo: West Mercia Police
James Ratcliffe raped a teenager. Photo: West Mercia Police

James Ratcliffe had pleaded not guilty to raping the teen in November 2018, but was found guilty last month following a trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

The 36-year-old led the victim away from her friend and into an alleyway where he raped her.

Reading the victim's impact statement aloud prosecuting barrister Nicholas Tatlow said: "She says she will never be the same and a year later she was struggling. Prior to the incident she was a bubbly person who has loved socialising and loved going out with her friends.

"Now she barely recognises herself and often feels isolated. She hasn't set foot in Oakengates since then and doesn't feet comfortable going out alone. Her mental health declined soon after the rape and she became depressed and has been on medication.

"She speaks of dropping out of college. She speaks of the comfort she gets from her part-time work and of slowly rebuilding her confidence.

"The events of the night were now part of her, in terms of the location and the fact that the defendant by his own admission was under the influence of alcohol."

Mitigating barrister Paul Smith said: "A custodial sentence we'll have to concede is inevitable."

The 36-year-old, of Shawfield Close, in Sutton Hill, was imprisoned for five years. He must serve half the term before being released on licence.

Ratcliffe has been placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely, while Disclosure and Barring Service will be notified. He must also pay the victims' surcharge.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Jon Taylor of West Mercia Police said: “We welcome this conviction and I hope it offers some comfort to the victim who bravely came forward so we could investigate the offence fully.

“Despite these types of incident being rare, I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to all our communities that we will always investigate sexual offences and do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

“If you are a victim of a sexual offence you can report it to police on 101. In an emergency dial 999.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News