Great Britain

Pensioner, 74, guilty of raping 13-year-old girl and getting her pregnant

A PENSIONER has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl and getting her pregnant.

Carvel Bennett, 74, admitted having sexual intercourse with the teenager in the 1970s and accepted he is the biological father of her daughter.

But Bennett, of Erdington, Birmingham, denied a charge of rape and claimed the victim told him she was 16 and consented to sex.

After a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, a jury took just one hour and 48 minutes to reject his account and find him guilty.

The full circumstances of how Bennett came into contact with the girl
cannot be reported in order to protect the victim's automatic legal right to lifelong anonymity.

Prosecutor Peter Glenser QC said the defendant told the girl to take her clothes off when they were alone together.

Mr Glesner said: "She does recall saying: 'I don't want to do this' and him saying: 'It's going to be alright.

"She remembers him saying he wasn't going to hurt her and she should say nothing."

Mr Glesner revealed that a few weeks later it "became obvious she was pregnant".

'BRUSHED UNDER THE CARPET'

The court heard how the victim was taken to a mother and baby home to give birth to her daughter, who was ultimately put up for adoption.

She said when she returned home she was made to sit in a chair and watch a programme about someone having to give up her child.

She said: "I had to sit there and watch it to see if I would cry.

"I know that's why I had to watch it. I thought I won't cry.

"I was adamant I wasn't going to cry. So I never."

The victim stated she was still "shocked" at the whole ordeal but felt it was soon "brushed under the carpet" by everyone.

NAMED AS FATHER

The jury heard when Bennett's daughter reached the age of 18 she obtained some social security records and tracked down her mother who revealed how she was conceived.

When she acquired her full social services records she saw that Bennett was named as her father.

Mr Glenser said DNA results suggested it was 22 million times more likely the defendant was the girl's dad than any other unknown Afro-Carribean man unrelated to him.

Mr Glenser said: "In reality, there is little in dispute in this case save for the central and important issue of consent."

In an interview played to the court, the victim stated Bennett did not
use any violence, but that she was "scared" to resist his attack.

Tom Walkling, mitigating, requested his client be given the chance to put his affairs in order, arguing he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, given his age.

But Judge Martin Hurst stated "the risk he might do something foolish is too great" and remanded him in custody.

Bennett will be sentenced today, August 3.

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