‘Predator’ jailed for life

A ‘SEXUAL predator’ who subjected a woman to a depraved ordeal in his pub has been sentenced to life in prison.

Following a trial at Bolton Crown Court, bar manager Richard Salt was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting the 19-year-old student as well as perverting the course of justice.

Salt was also found not guilty of raping and spiking the drink of a 40-year-old woman in March last year.

On Monday he was sentenced to life with a recommendation to serve at least 14 years as he was deemed to be a serious threat to women.

The court heard how Salt, aged 36, of Edenfield Road, Norden, had assaulted his victim – now 20 – in June 2006 after plying her with drink at the Lancashire Lass pub on Edenfield Road.

She was also suffering from the effects of cocaine, which the judge agreed had been administered without her knowledge, though the jury ruled Salt was not responsible.

Chilling CCTV stills shown during the two-week trial revealed Salt had watched his victim become more and more helpless.

When she was virtually comatose, he sexually assaulted her before raping her in the toilets.

Addressing Salt, the judge, Stephen Everett, said: “Such cold and calculating behaviour is hard to believe.

“It’s something, in my reasonably long experience as a barrister and a judge, I have never come across.”

The victim raised the alarm the next day but, when police approached Salt, he showed them only part of the CCTV footage, which he claimed showed the victim consenting to sex.

The full, damning footage would later lead to his conviction but, in the meantime, his victim was left suffering from the devastating consequences of the attack.

Reading from an impact statement, prosecutor Alaric Bassano said the woman had felt unable to go out and had even suffered a panic attack on one occasion.

He said: “One of the worst things she feels is that she has to lie to her friends about what happened because she does not feel able to confide in them.”

Defending, Stephen Meadowcroft appealed to the judge to impose a less severe sentence, stating Salt had been cleared by jury of a second count of rape against the student and spiking her drink.

Mr Meadowcroft claimed

Salt had also been drunk and the victim had appeared to be ‘playful’ with the defendant before the assault.

He expressed fears for his client in prison because he suffers from the inflammatory bowel condition, Crohn’s disease.

But, addressing Salt as he announced his sentence, Mr Everett said: “I have read various letters from family and friends that suggest there is another side to your character.

“But I saw the true side of your character on the CCTV footage.

“You treated that young woman like a piece of meat.”

He added: “You have portrayed yourself like a victim but there was only one victim here.

“Your family are devastated because they have lost a close family member and I can feel sorry for them but I have no sympathy for you.”

Deeming Salt a threat to the public he imposed the life sentence, with the opportunity for parole only after seven years.

He has also been placed on the sexual offenders’ register for life.

The sentence was welcomed by Detective Chief Inspector Jeff McMahon, head of Rochdale CID.

He said: “Justice has been done.

“It is very rare to receive a life sentence for rape but the judge felt it was apt in this case.

“It will mean that other women will now be safe from Richard Salt.”

He added: “I would like to pay tribute to both the victim, who was brave enough to come forward, and the team led by Detective Sergeant Alan Brown which brought Salt to justice.”

Detective Sergeant Alan Brown said: “Salt can only be regarded as a sexual predator.

“This sentence clearly reflects the danger he presents to society.

“I would also like to thank a prosecution witness who also came forward and provided invaluable evidence which illustrated the defendant’s propensity to commit this type of offence.”

Salt will serve a minimum of seven years before he is eligible for parole.

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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