Sleaford

Child rapist jailed for 12 years

A man who went into hiding after being revealed as a child rapist was jailed for 12 years and nine months.

Paul Mercer, 51, of Old Main Road, East Heckington raped his victim twice when she was 12-years-old and on further occasions after she turned 13-years-old.

Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said the abuse was revealed to a teacher at the girl’s school and police were contacted.

On the same day officers went to arrest Mercer but were unable to find him at first.

Mr Thatcher said: “The two cars normally parked outside his property were hidden and he had removed £3,000 from the safe in the house.

“He no doubt contemplated some form of escape and was preparing to do that.

“Having not found him at first the police reattended at his house. The loft hatch was ajar and they found the defendant sitting cross-legged staring into the distance. He was arrested.”

Mercer admitted four charges of rape, he was place on the sex offenders’ register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Mark Watson, mitigating said: “The most significant piece of mitigation is the fact that he pleaded guilty.

“He is open to taking all rehabilitation courses that are thrown in his direction because he acknowledges that what we had was catastrophically wrong. He is open to all that can be done to manage his risk.”