Hayle pensioner jailed for rape
7:00am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
PENSIONER Edward Opie has spent his 82nd birthday behind bars after being jailed for seven years for raping and making pregnant a 17-year-old girl who had a mental age of eight.
Opie, of Penpol Vean, Hayle, pleaded guilty in July to the rape when he was aged 47, and was sentenced at Truro Crown Court last Friday. His denial of 11 other charges of sex abuse allegedly committed between 1960 and 1988 was accepted by the Crown at an earlier hearing.
Judge John Neligan gave Opie credit for his plea and took into account that he was the carer for his 72-year-old wife, who has health problems, and that he had never used force or threats to abuse his victim.
“But you have ruined the girl’s life, the baby was adopted immediately and she has never seen the child,” he declared.
Prosecutor Joanna Martin said that Opie had claimed the relationship with the girl was consensual but it was the Crown’s case that she did not have the mental capacity to give consent.
Jeremy Leaning, defending, stressed that Opie had led an unblemished life since committing the offence. By pleading guilty he had saved the victim the ordeal of having to give evidence in a trial.
A custodial sentence would have a profound effect not only on Opie but on his wife who was unwell and living in relative isolation. Opie will have to serve two thirds of his sentence before he can be released on licence and he has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.