Predatory rapist attacked young girl at Northamptonshire canal boat festival

James Bill
James Bill

A predatory rapist who attacked a young girl at a Northamptonshire canal boat festival has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

James Bill, aged 29, attended the Braunston Boat Show rally in June last year and befriended a mother and her daughter.

Northampton Crown Court heard Bill then went for a walk in a field with the girl and, shortly after they had both laid on the floor to look at the trees, he attacked and raped her.

Jonathan Eley, prosecuting, said the girl initially did not tell her mother but later confided in one of her friends at school.

Mr Eley said Northamptonshire Police then investigated the incident and DNA analysis of the girl’s underwear found a semen match that was a “one billion to one” match in favour of Bill.

Bill was interviewed and made “no comment” to all questions he was asked. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to a charge of raping a girl aged under 13.

He has a previous conviction for indecently assaulting three girls.

Judge Rupert Mayo, sentencing, said: “This was a gross mistrust against this girl. You are a dangerous and pose a significant risk of serious harm to children. I would describe this attack as predatory.”

Bill was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison and an extra three years and nine months on licence. He will serve at least two thirds of his jail term.

Detective Constable Sharon Drage, who led the investigation, said: “This was an awful crime and we are very pleased to see the sentence handed out to James Bill.”