Man, 65, is jailed for raping and abusing teenager

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A 65-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years after he gave money to a vulnerable teenager he abused.

A judge heard yesterday how the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, spent the cash on more cannabis and alcohol to “block out” the abuse she endured at the hands of Michael Rhodes.

Rhodes, who used to live in the Pudsey area, was arrested at a farm in Sowerby Bridge in 2012 after his victim finally revealed details of the abuse she had suffered about a decade earlier.

Last month when Rhodes’ case was listed for trial at Bradford Crown Court he entered guilty pleas to three offences of indecent assault and one of rape. Prosecutor Sophie Drake told the crown court how Rhodes raped the girl when she was 16 and left £150 under her pillow.

The court heard that Rhodes told the girl she was beautiful and gave her £20. Miss Drake said the teenager used the money to buy cannabis so she could forget what had happened.

She said the complainant told police that she began drinking more regularly and smoking cannabis to block out what was happening to her. When Rhodes was arrested in Sowerby Bridge in July 2012 officers found a disc containing almost 30 indecent images of children. In December he admitted possessing the child porn. Barrister Camille Morland, for Rhodes, said he had been in care and had had “a very difficult upbringing”.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC imposed an indefinite sexual offences prevention order on Rhodes which bans unsupervised contact with children and he also told the defendant that he would have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.

Rhodes, who had no relevant previous convictions, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for the rape offence with two-and-a-half years in prison for the indecent assault matters.

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