A CHILD rapist has been handed a 14-year prison sentence.
Simon Peter Turnbull, 44, received his punishment at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI) for crimes committed last year against a victim aged under 13.
At a previous hearing, Turnbull, of Fairhill Road, Penrith, had admitted one child rape and a second “multiple incident” charge.
Prosecutor Tim Evans told the court Turnbull’s victim was so upset during a police interview that they could not speak at times, having to write things down in a notebook. The child did say of Turnbull: “I hate him.”
When arrested, Turnbull initially reacted by saying: “What, really?” He later admitted raping the child multiple times when quizzed by police for a second time, but was said by a probation officer to have shown an “alarming lack of victim empathy”.
Shaven-headed Turnbull showed little emotion while sitting, arms folded, in the court dock as facts of his offending were outlined to Judge Peter Davies. A number of deeply moving impact statements were read to court which detailed the profound effects on the victim’s family.
Jailing Turnbull, a man with no previous convictions, Judge Davies said he was guilty of a “persistent course of conduct committed for your own sexual gratification”. This had, the judge observed, “left a wake of devastation”.
Detective Constable Bridget Jackson, North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “Simon Turnbull took advantage of a vulnerable child for his own gratification. He has rightly been brought to justice for his crimes.
“I would like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case for disclosing what happened to them and for the strength they have shown throughout our investigation.
“I would like to reiterate our commitment to investigating thoroughly any reports of sexual abuse. I would urge anyone who has been subject to offences of this nature to come forward, you will be listened to.”
Turnbull must sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, and abide by the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order. He must serve at least half of the 14-year term in custody, and will only be considered for release when a parole board deems him suitable.
If you wish to report a crime or speak to an officer about an incident, please contact Cumbria Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault, contact The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Service’s 24/7 free helpline on 0808 118 6432.