Vicki Bevan, 37, raped a vulnerable young girl and, along with two older men, filmed the horrific acts and shared them with one another, she now faces the prospect of a life sentence
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A depraved woman who raped a little girl along with two older men, smiled and laughed in the docks as she was told she could face a life sentence.
Vicki Bevan raped a vulnerable victim and performed sex acts on them along with Paul Raffery, 62, and a second man, Tony Hutton, 42.
The 37-year-old, from St Helens, appeared in Liverpool Crown Court this morning, where she was seen laughing and smiling with security guards, The Liverpool Echo reports .
The sick trio filmed their abuse and shared images between them along with twisted messages.
Liverpool’s top judge said he was considering an “indefinite sentence”, meaning she could be locked away for life, and that he required written submissions from the prosecution and her defense lawyers on this matter.
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Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said: “Obviously of particular concern for the court is the fact that there are exchanges of messages involving shockingly depraved fantasies.
“And they didn’t remain as simply fantasies, some of these were played out in real life.
“I won’t go into the detail of what they are now. Just when you think you have heard the worst, another one comes along. It’s all of that, that the court will be concerned with.”
The judge told Jonathan Duffy, defending Bevan, that he was “bound to have in mind the nature of the sentence in this case and in particular the possibility of an indefinite sentence.”
He said written submissions from Mr Duffy and Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, should consider Bevan’s “risk in the future and the extent to which it might be said the underlying health or mental health issues have an impact on her culpability”.
However, Judge Menary added: “I’m bound to say the court is actively, as it were, considering the possibility in her case – at this stage in her case alone – of an indefinite sentence.”
Ahead of a trial earlier this year, Bevan of St Helens, admitted one count of raping a child under 13; five counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration; two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13; one count of sexual activity with a child; and one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The rape, one of the counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration and one of the counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 were carried out jointly with Rafferty, of Fry Street, St Helens.
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One of the other accounts of sexual assault of a child under 13 involved Bevan and Hutton, of Liverpool Street, St Helens, both performing a sex act on the victim.
Bevan also pleaded guilty to 17 counts of making and three counts of distributing indecent images of children, plus two counts of possessing extreme pornography.
Rafferty previously admitted one count of raping a child under 13; one count of assault of a child under 13 by penetration; one count of sexual assault of a child under 13; and six counts of making indecent images of children.
At the same stage Hutton pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a child under 13 and three counts of making indecent images of children.
Judge Menary asked Rafferty and Hutton’s lawyers to make submissions on their “risk and dangerousness.”
The judge noted in interviews the three defendants took part in with the Probation Service for pre-sentence reports there was “a degree of blame sharing” and asked whether this would be relied upon at sentence.
Tom Watson, defending Hutton, told the court he “takes full responsibility for his offending despite what your Lordship may have seen in the report.”
He said: “He will not veer away from taking full responsibility for each of the offenses he’s pleaded guilty to.”
Judge Menary told Mr Duffy: “I’m bound to say if your client suggests she was encouraged and got led on by others, it would not be accepted.” Mr Duffy said this would not be put forward by Bevan.
Simon Christie, defending Rafferty, said his client had not gone “quite as far” in his comments for the report. Like Hutton, Rafferty showed no emotion in the dock.
Judge Menary said he would adjourn sentencing until May 13 and remanded the three defendants in custody until that date.
Mr Duffy said Bevan wished to be sentenced over a video link if the judge allowed it, but Judge Menary said: “Frankly, I’m not sure I will in this sort of case.”
He ordered all three defendants to be produced in the dock at sentencing. However, he said he would consider written submissions from Mr Duffy on this point.
If the three paedophiles are found to be dangerous offenders, as defined in law, then they may receive extended sentences.
They would then have to spend at least two thirds – rather than the usual half of any custodial term – behind bars, before they could apply to the Parole Board and ask for their release.
At that stage, if they were no longer considered to be a risk, they could be released on licence, they would then have to serve an extended license period.
However, if Bevan’s crimes are deemed to be serious enough to warrant a life sentence, she would instead be given a minimum term in prison, which she would have to serve in its entirety.
Only once that minimum term was complete would she be able to apply for parole and, if and when she was released, she would be subject to license conditions for the rest of her life.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.