Seaton: ‘Dangerous offender’ jailed for rape

Seaton man is jailed for rape committed while on bail for previous sex offences.

A CONVICTED rapist from Seaton went on to rape again after he was released on bail for sentencing.

Peter Smith, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child under 13 and one of exposure in February of last year. He was released while awaiting sentence in May last year - and on June 17 raped an East Devon woman.

He pleaded guilty to the former charges, but denied two counts of rape against the woman, who was described as vulnerable, and one count of sexual activity.

Exeter Crown Court convicted him of all offences and sentenced him to imprisonment for public protection for a minimum of five years.

Smith, of Summersby Close, has also been placed on the sexual offenders’ register.

Prosecuting, Richard Crabb said Smith had targeted the woman he raped in June of last year – and had been seen outside her home prior to the attack.

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He said: “The victim said he threatened her and she believed that if she hadn’t done what he wanted, he probably would have killed her. At one point, he put a pillow over her mouth.”

He said the woman did not suffer injuries, but had a panic attack as a result of the assault.

During the offence against the young girl, Smith was reported to have pushed her onto a bed and touched her inappropriately. He asked her to engage in oral sex, but she refused and raised the alarm.

On a second occasion, he exposed himself to two young girls and was arrested by police. He was interviewed, but denied anything had happened.

Mr Crabb said: “The court had been looking at a non custodial sentence before we were aware of the defendant’s somewhat entrenched attitude.”

The court heard Smith had refused to take part in a psychiatric assessment, but existing reports described him as a ‘dangerous offender’.

Reports concluded he was a serious risk to the public and an immediate custodial sentence was recommended.

The court heard he had learning difficulties and that prison might not be suitable for him.

In mitigation, Terry Scrivener said Smith had had a troubled childhood and was remorseful for the offences against the young girl. She said he was keen to take part in a rehabilitation programme in prison.

Judge Graham Cottle said he had targeted a vulnerable woman and raped her in her own home.

He said: “You subjected her to a terrifying ordeal over a significant period of time.”

He added: “I fear there’s a risk of you re-offending so it’s my public duty to impose this sentence.”