United Kingdom

Daughter helps convict elderly father 46 years after he raped her mother at 13

Rapist Carvel Bennett, 74, was convicted thanks to evidence from the daughter conceived in the abhorrent attack on a child, then 13

A pensioner has been convicted of the historical rape of a 13-year-old babysitter who then became pregnant, after the daughter conceived in the attack doggedly pursued the case against him for more than a decade.  

Carvel Bennett, 74, faces the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted by a jury in 90 minutes in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in UK legal history.

His daughter Daisy, who was given up for adoption after Bennett's victim gave birth, took DNA tests in her 40s that proved that he was her father with the evidence used to put him in the dock.

She had been taken into care just after being born in Birmingham and adopted at seven months old.

It was only when she was given access to her social services documents that she discovered that her mother was 13 when she was born, and that her father was Bennett, then 28, with a 1975 file stating: 'The matter was investigated by police but never brought to court'.

In 2014 the Jimmy Savile scandal broke and he was revealed as a sexual abuser that Daisy decided to trace her birth father with the aim of getting him prosecuted for raping her mother as a child. She also took DNA tests to prove the biological connection and also found her birth mother, who cannot be named.

After a decade of battling with police and other agencies who told her that she was not the victim she won the battle that saw her father convicted of rape at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday. 

The jury heard heartbreaking evidence from his victim, who remembers repeatedly telling her attacker: 'I don't want to do this' but he carried on anyway. 

Bennett will be sentenced today but his legal team admit he expected to die in jail.

Daisy told The Guardian: 'I'm a walking crime scene. I wanted justice for my mum and I wanted justice for me. The ramifications of what Bennett chose to do have shaped my entire life. It's because of that crime that I'm alive. I'm living, breathing proof of a child rape.'   

Daisy, Bennett's daughter, was taken into care at birth but later discovered Bennett was her father and took DNA tests to prove it, eventually getting him in the dock

Police bring charges in just seven per cent of violent crimes and in only 1.5 per cent of rapes, figures show 

Less than seven per cent of violent crimes ended in anyone being charged – with sexual offences even lower at just 3.5 per cent and rape only 1.5 per cent.

Theft figures were nearly as bad, with just 5 per cent of cases going to court, followed by robberies at just 8.2 per cent.

The statistics – released by the Home Office – suggest a challenging picture of justice and few offences leading to prosecution.

They show over 1.6million violent offences were reported in the year leading up to March 2021 of which around 139,000 saw charges from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones said: ‘Under the Conservatives, criminals have never had it so good'.

The pensioner admitted having sex with the Daisy's teenage mother  in the 1970s and accepted he is the biological father of her daughter. But Bennett, of Erdington, 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.

But the jury heard evidence from Daisy's birth mother, now 59, that she had been informed by her mother that she had to babysit Bennett's children one evening.

But she was then shocked to find him there, before he asked her to come upstairs to a bedroom.

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'.

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.'

Bennett will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court later today but expects to spend the rest of his life in jail

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

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 into custody.

Bennett will be sentenced today.

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