‘Evil rapist’ from Northampton who snatched a 10-year-old girl and violently assaulted her fails in bid to overturn life sentence

Jason Watts, jailed for life for raping a young girl in Northampton NNL-141106-073407001
Jason Watts, jailed for life for raping a young girl in Northampton NNL-141106-073407001

An “evil rapist” who abducted a 10-year-old girl as she played outside her home then sexually assaulted her has failed to persuade top judges that he did not deserve a life sentence.

Jason Richard Watts, 33, snatched the little girl after offering her sweets last year.

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

He took her to his home in Northampton and kept her there for two hours, subjecting her to violence before raping her.

Watts, who blamed his behavior on a difficult upbringing and a head injury he suffered some time ago, was jailed for life at Northampton Crown Court in November last year, after pleading guilty to kidnapping and rape of a child under 13.

He was given a minimum term of seven years two months and also handed a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

On Tuesday Lord Justice Elias, Mr Justice Burnett and Judge Nicholas Cooke QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, quashed the SOPO, but refused to overturn his life sentence.

Lawyers for Watts told the court that he was “ashamed” of what he had done, and could only explain it by reference to a head injury he suffered in 1999, which had led to him suffering “personality change”.

The court also heard that Watts was brought up in care from a very young age and suffered a “very damaged childhood”.

However Lord Justice Elias refused to give him a definite release date, or to cut the minimum period he must serve before applying for parole.

Quoting the sentencing judge, he said that Watts had displayed “an inconceivable level of evil” by committing the offences, during which, as well as being raped, the victim was “punched in the face...threatened with strangulation and physically injured”.

“There is no doubt that the sentence is high, but the nature of the offences was particularly appalling.

“We consider a life sentence was one which was properly open to the Crown Court judge, and there can be no complaint about the minimum term,” Lord Justice Elias said.

However he overturned the SOPO, saying it was unnecessary, as it was coupled with the lifetime restrictions on an offender inherent in a term of life imprisonment.