Rishton man jailed for sexually assaulting teenager

A Rishton man who gave a teenager alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting her in his campervan, has been jailed.

Neville Chapman (60) Bridgefield Close, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months on January 11 at Preston Crown Court.

He had been found guilty by a jury last June.

Chapman’s victim was just 16 when the offence happened in Darwen in 2019.

Despite knowing the girl’s age he still bought her alcoholic drinks before offering her a lift home in his campervan, where he gave her cocaine.

Before he got to the victim’s house, Chapman pulled over the vehicle and got into the back and sexually assaulted her, continuing when she had asked him to stop.

The distressed victim managed to get out of the campervan and call a friend.

In police interview, Chapman said any sexual activity was consensual.

Sex offenders’ register

He was charged with two counts of sexual assault and found guilty at trial.

He has been given an extended sentence of three years to serve on licence, placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely and made subject of a restraining order.

Chapman should have appeared for sentencing last August but failed to turn up in court. Officers arrested him after he was on the run for weeks.

He admitted failing to surrender to bail and breaching interim sex offenders’ notification requirements in relation to that time.

Nasty offence

DS Mark Parrington, of the East Child Protection Team, said: “This was a particularly nasty offence committed against a 16-year-old girl while she was clearly in a vulnerable state.

“This offence has very much had an impact on her, made all the worse by Chapman forcing her to re-live her ordeal during a trial.

“We take all offences of this nature extremely seriously and do everything in our power to put the perpetrators before the courts. I would ask anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to contact the police, knowing they will be believed and listened to.”

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