A man who was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for seven years.
Paul Edwards, 62, of Marling Crescent, Stroud, was handed the prison term when he was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on Friday (4 August). Edwards was also placed on the sex offender register for life.
Edwards had pleaded not guilty to raping the teenager in Minchinhampton in May 2006, however he was found guilty following a trial earlier this year. The jury in a previous trial, in January 2022, were discharged after failing to agree on a verdict.
The court heard that Edwards had offered to share his bed with the girl because she was upset following a family argument.
During the night, he climbed on top of the victim and raped her while she slept.
It was reported to police in January 2020 when the victim approached a number of agencies for support.
Edwards had denied that he had raped the girl. However, he admitted he had been drinking a lot of alcohol at that time which could have affected his memory.
Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Denise Reen paid tribute to the victim.
She said: "I'd like to praise the strength and bravery she has shown in coming forward and seeing this through the court process not just once, but twice. It has been a long and difficult road, but she can hopefully now move forward with her life knowing that she has bought Edwards to justice.
"We take all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously, regardless of whether the offence happened recently or years ago, and I would urge anyone who has been a victim to please speak to us and know that you will be heard."