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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Cumbrian man jailed for sex attack on girl, 11

A sex offender has been jailed for three years for “effectively abducting” and abusing an 11-year-old girl as she screamed for help.

Related: Rewards for pair who helped convict Black

Daniel Black had denied driving the girl to the Solway in the middle of the night, climbing on top of her and subjecting her to a terrifying sexual assault last November.

After less than five hours deliberation, a jury at Carlisle Crown Court unanimously found him guilty.

The previous day they had already convicted him of one count of perverting the course of justice.

During the trial the court had heard evidence from his victim, in which she told how Black had driven her out in the middle of the night, under the pretence of looking at the stars.

He drove her down a country track on the Solway, and proceeded to assault her.

It was the second time Black, of Dobinson Road , Raffles, Carlisle, had stood trial for the sexual assault charge, and the second time the 11-year-old had been forced to give evidence.

The first court case had been closed without a verdict earlier in the year, after evidence emerged that Black had attempted to pervert the course of justice.

The 28-year-old had asked Matthew Hilton to provide an alibi for him, without telling the man why.

It was only after reading coverage of Black’s trial in the News & Star that Mr Hilton, and his father Raymond, contacted police.

The trial was abandoned and the defendant was subsequently charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Keith Thomas, defending, handed the judge two letters of support for Black from residents in his street.

He asked the judge to adhere to the sentencing guidelines, saying that to look beyond them would be to suggest the sexual offence had been at a more severe level.

Sentencing Black, Judge Paul Batty said: “I take an extremely serious view of this case. I’ve presided now over two trials in respect of this matter. The evidence clearly indicates that you lured her with tales of looking at the stars.

“You drove her to the banks of the Solway where you committed there a wicked offence on that child.”

He continued: “She was screaming as you sexually assaulted her. In my judgement that has about every aggravating feature one can imagine.

“I of course have regard to the sentencing guidelines for this offence, which suggest between 26 weeks and two years imprisonment, but in my judgement the circumstances require me to go outside the sentencing guidelines.”

Judge Batty sentenced Black to three years in prison for the sexual assault, and one year in prison for the charge of perverting the course of justice, to be served consecutively.

In total he was sentenced to four years in prison. The 63 days spent in custody since the collapse of the previous trial will be taken into account.

Black will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, is banned from every working with children and was made the subject of an indefinite sexual offences prevention order, which will prevent him having access to anyone under 16.

Black looked pale and shaken.

Judge Batty added: “You pose, in my judgement, a danger to children.”

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