Rapist is jailed over sex attack on teen at Leeds house party

Mitchel Ward.
Mitchel Ward.
0
Have your say

A rapist carried out a sex attack on a young woman as she lay drunk in bed at a house party, a court heard.

Mitchel Ward, 21, was given a ten-year sentence after a judge told him he continued to pose a serious danger to women.

Ward pleaded guilty to raping the teenage victim at a house in Leeds in November last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Ward had gone to a party at the property with his girlfriend and drank heavily.

Denise Breen-Lawton said the 21-year-old had been doing “eyeball shots” - in which he poured vodka directly into his eye in order to get drunk more quickly.

During the evening people at the party played spin the bottle and the victim had ended up in just her underwear.

The court heard the teenager decided to go to bed because she felt sleepy.

Ward went into the bedroom later in the evening and laid beside her in bed.

He then asked the girl if he could have sex with her but she refused.

At around 7.30am the next morning she awoke to find Ward having sex with her.

He was arrested after the girl told her parents about what had happened.

Ward, of Embleton Road, Methley, initially denied any wrong-doing. He described the victim as a “strange one” and told officers that he did not like her.

Ward pleaded guilty to rape after forensic evidence linked him to the offence.

Ward has a previous conviction for a sexual offence for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 2009.

Simon Alexander, mitigating, said Ward was for sorry for what he had done and had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage. He said Ward accepted that he would be facing a lengthy prison sentence.

Mr Alexander said Ward was keen to receive help while in custody to address his offending behaviour.

Neil Clark told Ward he must serve five years in custody followed by a period on licence for a further five years.

He said: “It is clear that you have ruined her life in many ways. I only hope that the passage of time will help with her recovery.”

The judge added: “You present a high risk of harm to females. It is of note that on both occasions you placed blame at the door of your victims.”

Sisters Jane and Lucy Batham at the Tarte and Berry bakery in Farsley. PIC: Simon Hulme

Delight for sisters as Leeds bakery wins Selfridges’s seal of approval