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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Man jailed for rape and kidnap

Stephen Smith has been jailed for violent offences including raping a woman and kidnapping a child.

The 39-year-old man, of no fixed abode (pictured) was found guilty at Preston Crown Court today and given a sentence of 21 years immediate custody and a further five years on extended licence.

In February 2023, Smith barged his way into a woman’s hotel room in Morecambe and then raped and assaulted her. Smith strangled his victim with such force, she thought she was going to pass out.

In June 2023, police were called to reports that a young child had been kidnapped in Lancaster. The child’s mother clung onto Smith’s Toyota Yaris, begging him to stop. All while being dragged down the road.

She was unable to cling on and fell into the road as the Yaris was being driven down Mainway in Lancaster.

Smith then stopped the car and reversed over the child’s mother as she lay in the road. She suffered five fractured vertebrae and other injuries.

Threats

As Smith drove back towards his former home in Blackpool, he told the child “that’s the last time you’ll see your mum.”

Police stopped Smith’s car before he got back to Blackpool and rescued the child. Smith was arrested, charged with several violence offences, kidnap, and motoring offences, and remanded into custody.

Despite knowing what he had done, Smith forced his victims – including the young child – to give evidence by electing to run a trial.

Support for victims

DC Sam Ripley, from Lancaster CID, said: “Smith represents a serious and very real danger to women and children. That is very evident from his actions in these cases.

“The victims in these cases, particularly the young child, displayed incredible bravery while giving evidence. They have clearly been through horrendous ordeals, which will live with them for some time.

“I hope the outcome of these cases and the sentence given to Smith will encourage other victims of violent offending to come forward. We will listen to you, we will believe you and we will support you.”

If you have been the victim of a crime report it online via https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ or call 101.

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