A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment with a further five years on extended licence following an investigation by Surrey Police’s Safeguarding Investigation Team.
Jay Louis Benjamin Connor, 20, of Kingswood Road, Tadworth, was sentenced on Friday 22nd October after being found guilty of multiple sexual offences, including six counts of rape, following a six-week trial at Guildford Crown Court.
He was arrested on 30 October 2019 in Epsom Downs car park after officers found him in his car with a young girl and noticed that he was behaving suspiciously. The girl, who was under the age of 16, subsequently disclosed to officers that she had been raped by Connor and he was arrested and taken into custody.
Further enquiries revealed that Connor was already known to Surrey Police and was currently under investigation in relation to other allegations of sexual offences, the earliest of which dated back to 2018. A complex investigation was carried out by Surrey Police’s Safeguarding Investigation Team with a total of seven complainants coming forward to make allegations against Connor over a three-year period.
Even after being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, Connor continued to meet further victims. With almost all the victims, Connor would make up lies about his past and his health in order to manipulate them into engaging in sexual activity with him.
Throughout the trial, Connor claimed that all victims were lying.
Connor was found guilty of the following offences:
– 6 counts of rape of a woman 16 years of age or over
– 2 counts of sexual activity with a child
– 1 count of sexual assault by penetration
Connor was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment, with a further five years on extended licence. He has also been given a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Following the trial, Connor’s victims have bravely spoken out about how his crimes have affected their lives.
One victim, who was just 15 at the time, describes how the assault has affected her body confidence and ability to form relationships: “I can’t trust boys/men and I can’t see how I will be able to have a normal relationship as I can’t bear to be physically touched and I don’t know when it is okay to believe nice things that someone may say to me.
“I don’t want to be attractive or to even look the same or similar as I did at that time. I don’t ever want any man to look at me in the same way that he felt he could use me, without any respect for me as a human being.”
“I can’t cope if I get catcalled. I crumble and have a panic attack. I just can’t lead a normal life like every other teenager.
“I am not sure how to make you fully understand the devastating effect he has had on my life. I did survive the ordeal but the scars that remain are very deep and I need to feel safe again.”
Another victim, who was 14 when Connor raped her in Priory Park in Reigate, wants to use her experience to help others, saying: “I did not expect anything like this to ever happen to me.
“I have never felt so small and lonely, not knowing what to think or feel. The whole range of emotions I have gone through have been confusing, upsetting, unnerving and very difficult to cope with. I can now see that Jay had a plan and knew exactly what he was doing.
“Everyone should know that saying no, means NO. I will always have this experience with me, however I refuse to be a forever victim. I want to speak up and do what’s right for myself and others.”
Detective Constable Leah Best, who led this investigation, said: “I commend the bravery of the victims in this case for coming forward and ensuring that Connor was brought to justice for his heinous crimes.
“The victims in this case were young and vulnerable and all believed they had formed a relationship with Connor whether that was as a friend or boyfriend. Connor is a sexual predator, targeting his victims and then subjecting them to traumatic sexual assaults and making them feel as though this was expected of them.
“Connor was between 15 and 18 during the time of his offences but as he got older, the girls he engaged in sexual activity with became younger, and he began meeting many of his victims on social media channels, including Snapchat and Instagram.
“The impact on these victims is far-reaching but I hope that the guilty verdict/sentence reached today will go some way towards helping them and their families to move forward with their lives.
“Surrey Police take all allegations of rape and sexual assault seriously and will always carry out a full and thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice.”
If you suspect anyone of committing similar offences, please call Surrey Police immediately on 101 (or always 999 in an emergency).
For further support and advice, please contact the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre http://www.rasasc.org/