Specialist detectives from our Unity Team are welcoming the sentencing of a Sefton man to 12 years in prison for sexual offences against a girl in 2022.
Christopher Wade, 54, of no fixed abode, was found guilty following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court which concluded in February before his sentencing today, Tuesday 14 March. He was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Sex Offender notification for life.
At around 10.30pm on Friday 12 August 2022, Wade approached the teenage victim in Southport town centre. He bought alcohol and supplied her with drugs, and while she was incapacitated, Wade raped and sexually assaulted her in a nearby park. The victim was left on a bench and managed to alert a taxi driver to what had happened, at which time police were called.
Following an extensive investigation including forensic, CCTV and witness enquiries, Wade was last month found guilty of rape; assault by penetration; and sexual assault.
Speaking after the sentencing of Wade, Detective Constable Jennifer Guest said: “Today’s sentence hopefully gives the victim some comfort as she continues to recover from this traumatic and deeply damaging ordeal, and we will continue to support her going forward. We recognise the profound impact such serious crime has on victims, and hopefully she will in time gain strength and a brighter future.
“Wade preyed on and exploited this vulnerable young girl, using drugs and alcohol to lure her away from a public place, and then added to her suffering through the ordeal of an investigation and trial.
“He showed callous disregard for his victim and is clearly a significant danger to the public. Wade will now be serving a sentence which reflects the gravity of his crimes, and one which will protect the public. We’d also like to thank the taxi driver who showed compassion in looking after the victim and calling police on the night. His swift actions helped our investigation immensely.
“We are committed to protecting victims of sexual offences, and ensure that anyone who reports an incident to us will be safeguarded and supported throughout the investigation.
“Anyone that has been a victim of a sexual offence or is concerned for the safety of someone they know should come forward and speak to us. This isn’t always an easy decision, but be assured that we have a team of dedicated staff who will expertly and compassionately deal with your reports and do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.
Anyone with information or wants to report sexual offence allegation is asked to call 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers or you can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind don’t be afraid to tell someone, find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve.
You can report rape sexual assault and other sexual offences anonymously here: Report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences | Merseyside Police
There is a lot of support available from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities. Information on Child Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation can be found here: Child Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation: Victim Care Merseyside.
In Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.