Rape victim praised by police for courage

Police have today praised a young woman for her courage in coming forward with information after she was raped last April.

This comes as her attacker, Mark Birtles, 20, of Laburnum Road, Mexborough, was jailed for six years on Friday after being convicted of rape following a three-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Detective Constable Cheryl McCorkell said: “The victim has shown immense courage in coming forward and reporting what happened, and was forced to endure the trial after Birtles continued to deny his guilt, despite the substantial evidence gathered against him.

“I’d like to thank and praise the girl for showing such strength and bravery as she gave evidence during the trial. The conviction is a testament to that and I hope that knowing Birtles is behind bars for the next six years goes some way in helping her to move forward with her life.”

 

Birtles was arrested in April last year after the victim, who was under the age of 18 at the time, went to hospital and reported what had happened.

Det Con McCorkell, who led the investigation, said he had offered the victim a lift one evening last April before he stopped in a remote area near Bolton-upon-Dearne and raped her.

Birtles, who was 19 at the time of the offence, was also jailed for a further 12 months for breach of a suspended sentence for harassment.