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4th February 2015

Rapist sentenced three decades after attack

A Fallowfield man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a victim of rape has come forward 30 years after the attack

A man has been sentenced for the rape of a teenager 32 years ago.

Christopher Martin, 51, from Fallowfield, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday 26 January 2015. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life as the victim was 15 years old at the time.

Over the summer of 1980 the victim met Martin at a social club in Fallowfield. Martin offered to walk the girl home and they left together at around 11pm – midnight. As they walked home Martin suggested cutting through a park.

In spite of the teenagers’ resistance, Martin led her into the park and then pushed her to the floor. He repeatedly slapped her across the face, telling her to shut up. He then raped her. When leaving the park, Martin then told the young girl that his girlfriend would batter her. She felt at the time she could not report the rape to the police.

Left traumatised by the attack the girl told only one person, her best friend, about what had happened. This was while Martin went on to live what the sentencing judge, Judge David Stockdale QC, called a “carefree” life.

However, after over thirty years of silence, the woman spotted Martin a number of times and finally reported him to the police. The first time she saw him was June 2013 at the Didsbury Festival in Didsbury Park where he was enjoying himself with his family. She approached him and said: “Are you Chris Martin? Do you remember me?” She then ran off.

Days later she saw him again at a Didsbury pub in what the sentencing judge described as a “moment of truth” encounter.

She later went to police. Martin denied rape in a Manchester Crown Court trial, saying he was the victim of mistaken identity and that he had never met the victim. However the jury found him Guilty.

Addressing Martin, Judge David Stockdale QC said, “she was excited at the prospect of being walked home by you”

“She thought you were something of a catch, and that your offer meant an indication that you were interested in her. As it turned out you were interested in her, but in all the wrong ways.”

Police said the victim finally had the courage to come forward after seeing him again and reading in the press about a number of historic rape cases.

After the sentencing, Detective Constable Laura Hughes said: “The victim was so scared after she had been raped that she felt she could not report it to the police. However recently she saw Martin a number of times and her memories of the attack came back to her and this along with the media reports regarding historic rapes gave her the confidence to come forward and report the incident to the police.

“I would like to praise her for having the courage to come forward and speak to us over three decades after the attack happened.

“I hope that this sentence provides some encouragement to other people who may have been victims of this sort of abuse to report it to the police.”

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