A man who raped his own daughter tried to kill himself in court as he was found guilty. The defendant cannot be named in order to protect his six-year-old victim, but he was tried for twice sexually assaulting the girl in a tent and one allegation of common assault. After hearing the two guilty verdicts, the man pulled a razor blade out of his pocket and repeatedly slashed his throat in front of the jury and judge. Custody officers quickly grabbed the man and dragged him to the ground as his ex-partner shouted from the public gallery “go on bastard, do it.” He was taken to hospital and treated for ‘superficial’ neck injuries and when he is released he’ll be jailed for five years for the latest conviction, which will run consecutively with a seven-year sentence for unrelated burglaries, motoring and other offences.
The girl’s mother was also found guilty of child neglect after failing to report the abuse to the police after finding out about the attack from her daughter, and has yet to be sentenced. Prosecutor Richard Thatcher said that the child, who is now being cared for by relatives, had her school work affected by the abuse “She is now wary of strangers and feels everyone is staring at her and knows what happened. She can’t concentrate at school. She becomes tearful and can get angry.” The defendant continues to deny the allegations, and his lawyer has described his life as “destroyed; he’s a broken man. That’s demonstrated no more clearly than his attempt to kill himself in court.”
The Judge didn’t realise the defendant had attacked himself at the time, and explained “I thought he had an outburst with his fists and the security staff overpowered and pretty much had him under control.” The lawyer for the defence reminded the judge that he wouldn’t have seen the attack because he was removed from the court while order was restored: “He slashed his throat, I saw the marks across his throat and he did shed blood just outside the door of the dock.” The barrister added “Why would someone do that? ‘It could be that he’s guilty and wants to end it or that he’s not guilty and cannot live with what the jury found, on the evidence.”