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‘Sexual predator’ who raped vulnerable teenager he lured to Jersey jailed for 17 years | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

A ‘SEXUAL predator’ who groomed a vulnerable teenager online before persuading her to come to Jersey and subsequently raping her has been sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment.

Shay Bester (47) befriended his autistic victim when she was a teenager, taking advantage of her during a six-month period of grooming before buying her a one-way flight from London to Jersey.

Bester was convicted in May of one count of trafficking, two of rape, three of assault and one count of sexual penetration without consent, having earlier been found guilty of four counts of making indecent images of children after a four-day trial in January.

Bester was described as a ‘sexual predator, who targeted a vulnerable young female, in order that he could fulfil his own sexual fantasies’ by States police following his conviction.

On Friday, Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit told the Royal Court that the girl had been lonely and vulnerable having spent increasing amounts of time at home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, becoming depressed and isolated.

Bester first met his victim in an online chat room, with Advocate Maletroit saying: ‘She desperately needed support and someone to talk to, and in that context she engaged with the defendant online.’

Once she arrived in the Island, Bester plied his victim with vodka and took her to his flat in St Helier, where he raped her.

His victim spent 17 days at the flat, during which time she was raped again, sexually assaulted and coerced into writing a letter giving consent for the way she was treated.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Bester slapping the girl in a St Helier car park and further footage – from the same day, of the victim crying in distress with her mother, who was present when police officers called at Bester’s flat and arrested him.

While under investigation, Bester sent a text to the victim using a new phone, claiming to be a States police officer.

States police officers also found thousands of indecent images on Bester’s laptop.

Advocate Ian Jones, defending, said that although Bester continued to deny the offences, he eventually expressed remorse for what had happened to the girl in a letter that he had submitted shortly before the sentencing hearing.

Bester received a total sentence of 17 years, 15 for the rapes, trafficking and assaults, as well as two consecutive years for indecent images.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre at Dewberry House provides expert independent and confidential support to victims of sexual abuse. The centre comprises of a team of experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience in advising, supporting and treating anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. They can be contacted on 01534 888222.

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