Former Harrogate resident jailed for rape of 15-year-old girl

Peter Reynolds

Peter Reynolds

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A former Harrogate resident has been jailed for 10 years for committing seven sexual offences including the rape of a 15-year-old girl, whom he groomed while living in the town.

Peter Christopher Reynolds, of Westway, London, was handed the sentence at Warwick Crown Court last Friday (April 1).

Reynolds was also sentenced to a further five years for four counts of making and distributing indecent images, and four years for one count of meeting after grooming online, to run concurrently.

The 50-year-old, who was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, had previously pleaded guilty to the offences.

The sentencing relates to the rape and sexual assault of a vulnerable 15-year-old girl from Rugby, who first had contact with Reynolds via a social media site. Reynolds was at this time 49-years-old and living in Harrogate.

He groomed her online for around one month prior to convincing her to meet up with him in Rugby on June 10, 2014.

The matter was not reported to police until later that year as the girl had suffered significant harm to her mental health and was hospitalised as a consequence of Reynolds' actions.

A protracted enquiry followed which eventually identified Reynolds, who during the investigation, had moved home on several occasions including twice in Harrogate, twice in Scotland and eventually to Eagles Cliffe, Stockton-On-Tees , Cleveland, where he was arrested on behalf of Warwickshire Police.

Investigating officer Det Con Andy Holloway said: "The result reflects the serious nature of the offences and provided some closure for the victim. She very bravely stood in the court and faced Reynolds whilst she read out her victim personal statement. This must have been incredibly difficult given the impact his actions had on her wellbeing. Her courage throughout in bringing him to justice has been remarkable.

"Young people are in real danger when they engage with strangers online, and we would urge anyone who has concerns for themselves or others to contact police via 101."