Wilmslow man jailed for grooming and raping teenager

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A Wilmslow man has been jailed for grooming and raping a teenage girl.

Jake O'Neil, 33, from Dairybrook Grove, Wilmslow was convicted on eight charges, including rape, attempted rape, child abduction, grooming, and four counts of penetration, by a jury at Chester Crown Court on Friday 5 January.

He appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 5 March where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with a five-year extension.

O'Neil began grooming the teen in an online chatroom in October 2021, before moving onto Snapchat, where messages are automatically deleted.

The victim said she was only 14 but he continued to send explicit messages to her until she blocked him.

He then continued to contact her using an alternative profile and on December 6, 2021, he paid for a 65-mile taxi ride for her from Wolverhampton to his home Wilmslow where he raped her.

When she failed to show up for school, her family alerted police.

Despite O'Neil's efforts to conceal her whereabouts by trying to smash her phone and throwing it into a river, police were still able to trace the missing girl to Cheshire.

On 7 December, O'Neill left the girl unattended while he went to Tesco. When he returned, police were at the house, and he was arrested.

Following his arrest, O'Neill admitted having sex with the 14-year-old girl on December 6 and 7, 2021, claiming he believed she was 16 at the time.

Despite his claims, he was charged with rape, attempted rape, child abduction and grooming.

Following the sentencing Detective Constable Charlotte Astbury who led the investigation, said:

"O'Neil clearly knew she was 14 years old - we even found a message he sent to someone admitting she was underage.

"Knowing this, O'Neil took advantage of a vulnerable teenager, going to great lengths to groom her for his own warped intentions and is now paying the price for this with a prison sentence."