Devon

Tiverton rapist, Mark Gooding, 18, jailed after text evidence

A teenage rapist has been jailed for five and a half years after sending a text message to his 17-year-old victim admitting the crime.

Mark Gooding, 18, of Alexandra Terrace, Tiverton, was convicted of two counts of rape and admitted four counts of actual bodily harm.

Exeter Crown Court heard he sent the text "I know I hit you and know you had sex with me when you did not want to."

Gooding will serve the sentence in a young offender's institution.

The jury heard Gooding, who was 16 at the time of the attack, bound his victim's wrists and tied her to a roof beam before cutting her down and raping her.

He also punched and headbutted her, pulled her hair, bit her neck and burned her with a cigarette while restraining her with a belt.

'Screaming and kicking'

Two of the charges of actual bodily harm related to a different girl.

Judge Phillip Wassall said: "You told the victim you were going to hurt her because she had hurt you.

"She was crying and screaming and kicking out to try to stop you throughout.

"This was a pattern of violence in which you expressed your emotions through aggression and controlling behaviour.

"In other words, you wanted to bring your victims to their knees through brutality."

Judge Wassall said he accepted Gooding had been 16 at the time of the attacks and had shown a "capacity for change" since then.

During the trial the girl told the court she was attacked after Gooding became upset during an argument.

Prosecuting, Sean Brunton said the text messages between the defendant and victim had provided compelling evidence.

Mr David Sapiecha, defending Gooding said: "He was bullied and made a decision to become a bully himself."

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