Wakefield man jailed for raping woman in car park

Michael Clegg
Michael Clegg

A Wakefield dad who raped a 19-year-old woman in a car park after a night out has been jailed for four years.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Michael Clegg, 23, of The Grove, handed himself into police the morning after the attack last December.

The father-of-one met the victim in a Morley town centre club while they were both out with friends. After chatting, Clegg and the woman went outside for a cigarette.

Prosecutor Michael Collins said: “She said she would meet up with him the next day and give him her mobile phone number.

“In the early hours, she invited him outside for a cigarette and he said his were in the car around the corner.

“She became a little suspicious when he was walking further away from the club.”

Mr Collins said the police later established that it was a 10-minute walk from the club to the scene of the rape.

“He said he felt sick and when they got to the Commercial pub car park he told her to kiss him. She gave him a peck hoping they would go back to the club.

“He kept trying to kiss her and she kept turning away. He walked her backwards and slammed her head back against the wall and dragged her to the back of the car park.

“She said she did not want anything to do with him and tried to wrestle free. He then got aggressive and pulled at her clothes and threw her on the ground.”

Mr Collins said the woman was frightened and dizzy and couldn’t shout out as his hand was over her mouth.

He then began to rape her.

“She was crying and bit him in desperation. It was then he seemed to have a change of heart, saying he was sorry and he had upset her. She was able to pull her clothing up and he tried to cuddle her.

“She kneed him between the legs and he grabbed her by the neck. She pulled him away and managed to run off back in the direction of the club.”

The court heard that after the rape, Clegg went to his place of work where he slept in the cab of a lorry.

The next morning he returned home and confessed to his girlfriend and aunt, who then took him to the scene of the rape and he told an officer there that he was involved.

Traces of cannabis, cocaine and alcohol were later detected in his blood.

The court were read part of the victim’s statement by the woman who said she had made an attempt to take her own life.

In mitigation, Catherine Silverton said the attack was “isolated and uncharacteristic moments in the defendant’s otherwise normal life”.

She said: “He had a job, a partner and child and has been described as a polite and caring young man.

“He has genuine remorse. He was horrified, shocked and disgusted with his behaviour.”

Sentencing him to four years Judge Spencer QC, said: “A prison sentence is inevitable.”

He added: “Once outside he (Clegg) took her away from the club to a secluded car park. There he made his advances, which she refused. He proceeded to rape her. He was rough with her and banged her head.”

Outside court, Det Chief Insp Gail Lawrie, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team’s Operation Topaz, said: “Clegg is a devious individual whose offending behaviour marks him as someone of significant concern to us.

“He put the victim through a harrowing ordeal and we are pleased the court has recognised the seriousness of these offences by giving him a significant sentence. We hope it will provide some source of comfort to the victim.

“We always thoroughly investigate any reports of offences of this nature and have specially trained officers who can support victims throughout that process.”