By Court reporter 10/05 Updated: 10/05 07:56
A MAN who had raped one young girl and indecently assaulted two others was brought to justice after one of his victims confided in a teacher after an RE lesson on forgiveness.
Colin Tapp, who was living in Warwick at the time of some of his offences, had originally denied all the charges against him.
But just days before his trial at Warwick Crown Court earlier this year he pleaded guilty to three charges of indecently assaulting two girls aged about nine in the 1990s.
Tapp, 52, of Guy Road, Kenilworth, also admitted two more recent charges of raping another girl of a similar age.
And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him Tapp was jailed for nine-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Judge Marten Coates ordered after his release Tapp should remain on licence for an extended period until November 2026 – during which he could be recalled to prison if his behaviour gave cause for concern.
Prosecutor Matthew Brook said the offences in the 90s involved two friends, one of who lived near Tapp at the time, who were then aged about nine.
When one of the girls was visiting his home Tapp assaulted her and on another occasion carried out an indecent assault now classed as rape
The girl later told her mother she no longer wanted to go to Tapp’s home because he had been touching her, but did not go into detail and no complaint was made at the time.
Mr Brook said Tapp had committed a similar act of rape with a friend of that girl.
About ten years later Tapp carried out two attacks on another young girl who lived in the same area as him by raping her on the first occasion and carrying out the indecent assault - now rape - at a later date.
That girl did not say anything at the time, but after a school RE lesson about forgiveness she confided in a teacher.
The police were notified, and an investigation led to Tapp’s two earlier victims.
But when he was arrested Tapp, who Mr Brook pointed out had been given a police caution in 1995 for indecently assaulting two 14-year-old girls, denied all the offences.
John Edwards, defending, said: “His best point in mitigation is that he pleaded guilty a week before trial, so the witnesses have been spared the trauma of having to come to court and re-live their experiences.
“He was until today his 91-year-old mother’s full-time carer. The judge on the last occasion, as an act of kindness after he entered his guilty pleas, gave him bail to sort that matter out.
“He has done so, and his older brother is giving up his work to care for their mother.”
Jailing Tapp, Judge Marten Coates told him: “Most people, it might be thought, would have learned their lesson when they were cautioned for indecent behaviour towards young children – but you did not.”
The judge also imposed a sexual offences prevention order banning Tapp from ever being in the unsupervised company of any child.
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