Hayle pensioner jailed for raping a teenager
A PENSIONER who raped and made a 17-year-old girl pregnant has been jailed for seven years - two days before his 82nd birthday.
Edward Opie, of Penpol Vean, Hayle, pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to raping the girl, who had a mental age of eight, in 1977.
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.
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"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 72-year-old wife who was medically 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.