March 16 2014 Latest news:
Court Reporter, Senior reporter
Friday, October 19, 2012
A “dangerous offender” who as a teenager raped a six-year-old girl on several occasions in Ilford has been locked up for five years today.
Laeif Patel, 22, of Sackville Gardens, Ilford, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of four counts of raping a child under 13 and three counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, following an 11-day trial in September.
He corrupted the youngster, raping and molesting her on a series of occasions at an Ilford address between June 1, 2005, and January 1, 2006, when he was 14 or 15, the court heard.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, could not bring herself to tell anyone about the abuse but eventually confided in her mother, who made a complaint to police.
Patel, who denied the offences, insisted she was making them up.
He continued to maintain his innocence, but did accept there was “minor” contact on one occasion, when he touched the girl once “out of curiosity”.
Judge Tudor Owen said there was a significant risk to the public of serious harm by Patel committing further offences.
He said: “As a dangerous offender, you qualify for an extended sentence of imprisonment.”
The judge praised the victim’s and her parents’ courage in giving evidence.
Brian St Louis, defending Patel, said he was “sexually immature” at the time of the attacks because of his age.
He said: “There is no evidence that he has committed any sexual crimes at all apart from these matters in his teenage years.”
He said Patel has a fiancé of five years who he is looking forward to marrying after serving his sentence.
He was handed an extended licence period of two-and-a-half years.
A former West Ham star took part in a gang rape after a night out clubbing in Romford, a court heard.