Suffolk man guilty of raping schoolgirl and facing jail sentence

Ipswich Crown Court

Mark Ryan will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on October 1 - Credit: Archant

A former Suffolk taxi driver who raped and sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been warned he is facing an immediate prison sentence.

Mark Ryan, 50, of St James’ Court, Haverhill, was found guilty by a jury after more than six hours of deliberations at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (September 21) of two offences of oral rape and one of assault by penetration by 10-2 majority verdicts.

He was found not guilty of a further offence of oral rape, a further offence of assault by penetration and an offence of sexual assault.

He had denied all the offences which were alleged to have been committed in the early part of 2009 when Ryan was 39.

Judge Emma Peters adjourned sentence until October 1 to allow an impact statement to be obtained from the victim of the offences and to enable her to attend the sentencing hearing.

The judge told Ryan: “You have been convicted of three very serious offences and you know the sentence you are going to receive.”

She granted Ryan conditional bail to allow him to get his affairs in order and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register on an interim basis.

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Judge Peters directed that while he is on bail Ryan should be on an electronically monitored curfew from 9pm - 7am and that he should surrender his passport.

Giving evidence during the trial Ryan, who has no previous convictions, denied having any sexual contact with the girl.

He accepted being a Facebook friend with her and talking to her about problems she was having at school but denied taking advantage of her and then securing her silence by threatening her.

He said the girl had turned up unannounced at his home and after the second time he thought she might have a crush on him and had nipped things in the bud.

The prosecution alleged that Ryan contacted the teenager on Facebook after meeting her through his work as a taxi driver and had arranged for her to go to his former home in Feltwell Place in Haverhill, where the offences were committed.

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