Steven Letts, prosecuted by Sarah Regan and described by the judge in sentencing as a volatile man and a compulsive liar, steeped in the misuse of drugs, was convicted of the rape of a child under 13 and the abduction of a child following a six-day trial in Gloucester Crown Court earlier this month. The 12-year-old victim was exceptionally vulnerable and in the care of the local authority, and was described during the trial as having an intellectual age far below that of her chronological age. Having approached Steven Letts for a cigarette and being promised by him, not a cigarette but a spliff, the girl walked away from her care worker and left the town centre in Gloucester with Steven Letts. Following an extensive police search, she was found in his flat over five hours later. In the intervening period, Steven Letts had provided her with vodka, cannabis and cocaine, traces of all three being found in her urine sample taken later that morning. He had also had sex with her.
Sentencing him yesterday HHJ Tabor QC, described Steven Letts assertion at trial that he had a duty of care in respect of the young girl as quite remarkable and said that he had no doubt that he is dangerous. He passed a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment in respect of the rape allegation, that sentence to run consecutively and to begin after a sentence of ten years, imposed for an offence of aggravated burglary. He imposed two years concurrent in relation to the abduction of a child. Although he determined Steven Letts to be dangerous within the meaning of s. 226A, as an offender of particular concern by virtue of s. 236A, the judge noted he is obliged to have an extended period of licence and will not be considered for release until the parole board are satisfied it is not necessary for the protection of the public that he should be confined. That time, he hoped would enable the authorities to deal with the danger that he posed.
For the BBC report, see http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-41983565