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Suffolk man jailed for 8 years for raping 12 year-old girl

Oscar Fitzgerald Credit: Suffolk Police

A 26-year-old Lowestoft man who raped a 12-year-old girl from west Suffolk has today been jailed for eight years.

Oscar Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a girl under 13 at a hearing on Friday 4 December.

Police were contacted around 8.40pm on Wednesday 2 September by the girl’s mother, who lives in west Suffolk, who reported that she had last seen her daughter at 5.45pm and had concerns that she had been communicating with older men online.

Officers began a missing person enquiry with searches being started in the vicinity.

Around 9.15pm the 12-year-old texted her mum to say she was back in the area and was walking home.

She was then spoken to by police and told officers that she had been raped. She said she had been picked up by a man she had been in contact with on social media and had then been driven to Lowestoft where she had been raped before being driven back.

She gave limited details about the man involved including his first name, the colour of the car he drove, his phone number and that she had been taken to a two-bedroom house in the town. She also said they had been to a petrol station on route.

Police checks and enquiries over the next few hours quickly led to Fitzgerald and he was arrested at his home in Church Road around 2am on Thursday 3 September.

As he remained in custody, police spoke to the young victim and discovered that she had only made contact with Fitzgerald on September 2 and he had been aware that she was only 12.

She described arriving at the address and being told to go upstairs. She was then raped, despite her telling him to stop, before being driven back and being dropped at a bus stop not far from her home.

Forensic evidence found at the scene supported the girl’s account, as did other enquiries made by officers.

In interview Fitzgerald refused to answer any questions put to him but, thanks to the victim’s account and the supporting evidence gathered by police, he was charged and put before court on September 5.

Today, Friday 5 February, he has been sentenced to eight years in prison at Norwich Crown Court. He will also be placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

I would like to commend the courage of the victim in this case who, despite being driven to the home address of Fitzgerald and subjected to an abhorrent crime, provided officers with an immediate detailed account.

“It was this prompt action that led officers being able to identify and detain Fitzgerald at his home address.

“As a result we have been able to remove a dangerous sexual offender from the street.

“The Operation Gemini team work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice and would like to urge any victim of sexual crime to report to the police.”

– Officer in the case DC Stephen Clarke

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Leighton Buzzard trainline reopens six days after landslip

The landslip Credit: Network Rail
The landslip Credit: Network Rail

The West Coast main line at Leighton Buzzard fully reopened this morning after work to repair a landslip which happened there in January.

Southern Rail had to cancel all their services between Milton Keynes Central and Watford junction when the foundations gave way on Saturday 30 January at Linslade.

London Midland also cancelled some trains from Milton Keynes to London Euston.

Engineers have since been working to repair the embankment and trains can now run on all four tracks through the Leighton Buzzard area.

Network Rail says the repairs will minimise the chances of further slips.

Because of its location, a temporary access road had to be built across nearby fields before 2,200 tonnes of stone and materials could be delivered to fix the slip.

Repair work Credit: Network Rail
Trains are now running normally Credit: Network Rail

Passengers can once again rely on a full timetable through Leighton Buzzard after the bank slip was successfully repaired. I am really proud of the way the team has performed over the past week and our focus from the very start has been to get a full service back up and running for passengers as quickly as possible.

“This has been a hugely challenging task made even more difficult by its location. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while the repairs have taken place”

– Mark Killick, area director for Network Rail

Man jailed for 14 months after dumper truck police chase leaves trail of destruction

A man who led the police on a low-speed chase in a dumper truck through Norfolk and Suffolk has been jailed for 14 months at Norwich Crown Court.

Nicholas Churchill, 40, of Brandon, Suffolk, caused £26,572 worth of damage of police property and £1,500 worth of damage to the truck.

During the chase he targeted police officers and vehicles, pushing one police car off the road.

He had admitted aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, and driving while unfit through drugs, at an earlier court hearing.

The charges came after police followed the dumper truck over 30 miles along major roads including the A140, A11 and A13 at speeds of about 25mph.

Churchill is said to have taken the 30-tonne truck from his employer after becoming angry about the air conditioning in his cab as it became too hot to work at a quarry in Spixworth Norfolk.

The judge admitted the sentence was inadequate, but said his sentencing powers were limited.

Police hunt for 19 year-old wanted for recall to prison

Daryl Atkins Credit: Norfolk Police

Police are appealing for help to trace a 19-year-old man who is wanted for recall to prison.

Daryl Atkins is wanted after breaching the conditions of his release licence.

He is described as being white, around 5ft 8inches tall, slim build, having short blonde spikey

Atkins is believed to be in the Norwich area, particularly around Earlham.

Police say anyone who knows where Atkins is should not approach him but call Norfolk Police immediately on 101.

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