Man, 68, jailed for sexually abusing girl in Cotswolds during 1980s

A 68-year-old man has been jailed for sixteen years for sexually abusing a girl in the Cotswolds on repeated occasions during the 1980s.

At Gloucester Crown Court yesterday (Sept 22) David Chapman of St Pauls Road, Cheltenham, was found guilty by a jury of ten men and two women of six offences of raping and sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16 in Bourton-on-the-Water during the 1980s.

Judge Michael Cullum sentenced Chapman to a custodial term of 16 years and extended the parole period by a year until 2038.

The jury was told that the victim, now aged 47, had first made a complaint to the police in 2012 but felt she was not strong enough at that time to support a prosecution.

This changed in 2019 when the woman’s younger sister had taken her own life after alleging similar abuse.

The woman feared her sister may have taken her life because Chapman had also abused her and she decided to report him.

Prosecutor James Haskell told the jury that the offences were committed by Chapman at his then home in Bourton-on-the-Water during visits by the girl and her sister.

“She recalls being aged about nine or ten when the abuse took place and recalls his smell when he got close to her. She said that as adult she now recognises the smell as being alcohol” said Mr Haskell.

The jury was told that Chapman warned the girl not to say anything, especially as she was confused and scared about what was going on. The abuse continued for some five years until she reached the age of 14 when she refused to visit his home any longer.

The jury was told that Chapman was arrested in September 2019 where he gave a prepared statement in which he said that the allegations were false and had been fabricated.

Derek Perry, defending Chapman, said : “He is adamant that there was never any sexual abuse between him and the victim.”

The jury took just over three hours to return their unanimous verdict following the four day trial.

Chapman was found guilty of three charges of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 13 between December 28, 1982 and December 27, 1986 and three charges of rape of a girl under the age of 16 between December 28, 1982 and December 27, 1987.

Judge Cullum sentenced Chapman to a 16-year prison term and extended his parole on licence for an additional year, meaning that he could be recalled back to prison anytime until September 2038 when he will be 85

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