Young man speaks out after Coronation St storyline

09.08.12 | News

Victim who was raped as a boy and came forward after hard-hitting Coronation Street plot finally sees attacker jailed.
A child molester whose victim found the courage to speak of his ordeal after watching a rape storyline in Coronation Street has been jailed.
Daniel Bird, 24, of Northenden Road, Sale, repeatedly raped his victim when the boy was just eight-years-old – and thought he had got away with the sick crime.
But, the pervert was exposed after the victim broke a silence lasting years, inspired by bravery of Corrie character Carla Connor.
Millions of TV viewers saw a hard-hitting storyline in which factory boss Carla Connor was raped by her jilted fiance before going on to give evidence against him in court.
After seeing how Carla was supported through her ordeal through friends, the boy, now a teenager, finally felt able to tell his parents what he had been through.
The victim went on to give evidence in a Manchester Crown Court trial where Bird, who works as a hairdresser, insisted he was innocent, but was convicted by the jury of four counts of rape.
Bird has now been jailed for four years – escaping a longer sentence because he was a young teenager at the time of the abuse.
The trial heard that Bird groomed his young victim for the ‘painful’ sexual assaults with kids’ ‘Pokemon’ trading cards.
The boy lived in fear of future encounters with Bird, who told him not to tell anyone after molesting him.
Bird continues to deny raping his victim. But, sentencing, Judge Michael Henshell said he accepted the assessment of a probation officer who interviewed Bird that the offences were ‘sexual experimentation’ at a time he was ‘coming to terms’ with his own sexuality.
Neil Usher, defending, said the explanation put the crimes in an ‘understandable context’.
He added: “Since the commission of these offences there has been no repetition or suggestion of repetition. Mr Bird has developed into a thoroughly decent, responsible, hard-working young man, no doubt the victim of his crimes and his family would find that difficult to accept.”
Sentencing, Judge Michael Henshell told Bird: “It was clear, in the course of the victim’s evidence, that he couldn’t bring himself to tell anybody near the time for a number of reasons, one of them being that you told him not to tell anybody, you spoke to him in a manner which made it clear he was not to speak of it.
“Offences such as this, which cause pain at the time, and embarrassment at the time, are difficult to gauge when it comes to assessing harm done psychologically to the victim.
“He was only eight, a very young boy at the time, and has carried the effect of these offences with him for all these years until he gave evidence in court, when his distress was only too plain to see.”
Click here for the full story and video: Manchester Evening News

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