A Donegal man who forced his way into a property and raped a 14-year-old girl in England over 40 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.
John Doherty, who lived in Coventry at the time but now resides in Malin Head, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of raping the under-age girl.
According to the Coventry Observer, the jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of all three charges by unanimous verdicts.
The offences took place in the 1970s when Doherty, who knew the girl’s family, was in his 20s.
Knowing she would be alone after getting back from school while her parents were still at work, Doherty turned up at her Coventry home, confident she would let him in.
But on more than one occasion, once inside he pushed her to the floor, he pulled down her underwear and raped her.
The Warwick Crown Court heard how when she then tried to stop him getting in, looking out for him as she got home and locking the door, he took to parking his van away from her house.
Doherty, now aged 76 years, then hid, and as she looked round and tried to get inside he jumped out as she was putting the key in the door, pushed her inside, before again pushing her to the floor and raping her.
Afterwards, he warned her that if she told anyone what he had done, no-one would believe her when he denied it.
Jailing Doherty, and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Judge Buckingham told him: “You were an adult. You were well-aware she would be home alone after school.
“It was your arrogance and confidence in your ability to keep this secret that led you to take these risks.
“She was a virgin at the time you began to rape her, and she was in her own home. It has caused her extreme psychological harm.
“You have lived all your life commanding the respect of your family, friends and colleagues – but it was all a lie. They knew nothing of the truth.”