We welcome the sentencing of 37-year-old Lee Cunliffe for rape.
On Friday, 21 January, Cunliffe of Lower Hall Street, St Helens, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 17 years in prison (plus five on extended licence) on charges including three counts of rape, two counts of assault by penetration and false imprisonment.
Cunliffe denied the charges and was found guilty following a trial on Wednesday 10 November.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Yoseph Al-Ramadhan said: “We share the victim’s relief and satisfaction that Cunliffe has been dealt with by the courts.
“While no sentence can repair the pain and suffering Cunliffe has caused to his victim, I hope that he will reflect on his despicable actions while behind bars.
“By denying the offences, he has put his victim through the additional pain of being forced to relive her ordeal through his trial and it is pleasing to know he has been jailed for a long time.
“I would like to pay tribute to the strength and bravery shown by the victim in coming forward to provide evidence against Cunliffe so that justice could be served. To be a victim of such offences, and then go through the additional stress of a court case, is extremely tough and she will continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure anyone who has suffered a sexual offence that, if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will deal with your case sensitively and make sure that your report is properly and thoroughly investigated."
Report a sexual offence allegation by calling 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers. Don’t forget, reports that are not urgent can be made via @MerPolCC on Twitter or 'Merseyside Police Contact Centre' on Facebook. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Merseyside Police, alongside three other forces, have also been part of a pilot project for a new service to report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences online – with the option to report anonymously.
Support for victims is also available through the registered charity the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801.
Anyone with information on domestic abuse can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111