A 28-year-old Snapchat predator who used alcohol to lure a 13-year-old schoolgirl to his car before raping her has been jailed for 10 years.

Rhodri Llyr Griffiths raped and sexually assaulted his young victim after tricking her into getting into his car before driving her to a hospital car park in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, last year.

After the horrifying rape he laughed at her and said: ‘I bet you won’t meet up with anyone else anytime soon’. 

The attack left the victim traumatised and she attempted to take her own life just months afterwards. 

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Thursday heard the victim was contacted on Snapchat by an account in the name of ‘James Davies’ while she was at home alone. 

Rhodri Llyr Griffiths, 28, raped and sexually assaulted his young victim after tricking her into getting into his car before driving her to a hospital car park in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, last year

Rhodri Llyr Griffiths, 28, raped and sexually assaulted his young victim after tricking her into getting into his car before driving her to a hospital car park in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, last year

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court (pictured) on Thursday heard the victim was contacted on Snapchat by an account in the name of 'James Davies' while she was at home alone

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court (pictured) on Thursday heard the victim was contacted on Snapchat by an account in the name of ‘James Davies’ while she was at home alone

She did not know the person but accepted the friend request. Upon doing so she received sexualised messages with the person offering her up to £750 to perform oral sex on her, which she refused.

The man behind the account asked her to send a picture of herself. She did so and told him she was 13 years old. When she asked the man: ‘How do I know you’re not a serial killer?’ he sent a video of a man which he purported was himself. 

He asked the victim if she wanted anything and she told him she wanted a bottle of vodka to take to a party.

Prosecutor Owen Williams said the victim arranged to meet up with the man that night after he attended an Asda store to purchase the vodka and she gave him her address. 

Upon arriving at a grassy area near her home the man sent a photo of his car to the victim who came out in her pyjamas to meet him.

She got into the passenger-side door of his car and seconds later realised the man in the driver’s seat was not the man she had seen in the video but the defendant. 

She was confused at first and asked if she had got into the wrong car but Griffiths responded: ‘It’s fine, it’s fine’. 

Griffiths sent a fake picture to the 13-year-old on Snapchat to trick her

Griffiths sent a fake picture to the 13-year-old on Snapchat to trick her 

She told him to stop the car and let her out but he responded by passing her the vodka bottle and said: ‘Have this’. 

The car doors were locked and when asked by the victim where they were going he said: ‘We’re going for a drive.’

Upon arriving at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Griffiths parked up and told the victim to get into the back seat. 

She didn’t want to but feared the defendant would kill her if she didn’t. As he got into the back seat Griffiths was smiling and began using his tongue to kiss the victim who tried to resist but she became frozen with fear. 

He then raped the schoolgirl in a terrifying ordeal.

During the attack the victim told him ‘no’ and repeatedly told him to stop and get off but Griffiths continued. 

Once he had finished he got into the driver’s seat and drove off leaving the victim on the back seat. 

As he drove her back to her house Griffiths laughed and said: ‘I bet you won’t meet up with anyone else anytime soon.’ 

He dropped her off outside her home and passed her the bottle of vodka. 

The police were called and Griffiths, of Highland Gardens, Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot (general photo of street), was arrested the next day

The police were called and Griffiths, of Highland Gardens, Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot (general photo of street), was arrested the next day

The victim ran into her home, deleted the James Davies account from Snapchat, and spoke to her friend about what had happened. Days later she broke down in tears and told her mother what had happened.

The police were called and Griffiths, of Highland Gardens, Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot, was arrested the next day. 

In his interview the defendant claimed the sexual contact between him and the victim was consensual and denied having sexual intercourse with her. 

The defendant later pleaded guilty to rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, and sexual communication with a child.

The court heard he was of previous good character.

In a victim personal statement the victim’s mother said: ‘It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Lying in bed that night feeling sick to my stomach hoping what she had told me was not true. 

‘It was like my brain couldn’t process that happening. How can someone do something so awful and how could it happen to my daughter? Our whole lives have changed and I’m heartbroken for my daughter. 

‘I feel massive guilt I didn’t protect her or keep her safe. The thought of her going through that and I wasn’t there to help her eats away at me every day.’

The victim’s mother said the effect on her daughter has been ‘horrific’ with her scrubbing her skin red raw in the shower and refusing to eat or drink. 

She said she was no longer able to work as her daughter felt unable to attend school and her daughter had taken an overdose months after the incident in an attempt to take her own life.

Griffiths was sentenced to 10 years and six months imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years. He will serve two-thirds of the custodial sentence before he will be considered for parole

Griffiths was sentenced to 10 years and six months imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years. He will serve two-thirds of the custodial sentence before he will be considered for parole

The mother added: ‘I keep wishing it happened to me so I could take her pain away… I keep thinking: “What if she does something one day to end her life like she’s been suggesting and I’m not there to stop her?” 

‘Her mental health has been awful and she’s asked when she’s going to feel her normal self again and can’t take the pain she feels every day. I’m constantly worried about her and what she’s going to do.

‘I’ve had an emotional breakdown myself constantly worrying and watching over her and to make sure she doesn’t succeed in her plan. No mother should have on their mind their child wants to die and the thought of what would happen if she did succeed. My life would be over as well as hers.’

In her statement the victim said: ‘I feel like my life and childhood has been destroyed. I have never hated my body as much as I do now. I have spent hours in the shower scrubbing my skin until it’s red raw. 

‘When I look in the mirror or close my eyes I see him laughing…. All I want to do is sleep the day away. I will never feel happy again. Even school is too much for me….

‘I can’t look at another male without feeling uncomfortable, I will never trust another male again. When I see a man with glasses or a red car I panic.. I don’t feel safe leaving home. 

‘I wake up with gut-wrenching fear and terror. All I can think is: “Why did I wake up? Why can’t this all be a dream? Why did this happen to me?” No matter how much counselling and therapy I’ll have when I am ready I’ll never be the same girl again….

‘I thought it would have been easier if he killed me as I wouldn’t have to live every day and feel this way. I feel crippled with guilt…. He’s ruined my life. My life has changed completely. I don’t want to do anything anymore. 

‘I want to stay in my bedroom by myself. Life will always be a constant battle but I pray I will find some peace in my head and feel myself again but I know it will take a long time.’

In mitigation Nigel Fryer said his client was remorseful for his behaviour but this was rejected by Judge Daniel Williams. He referred to the defendant’s guilty pleas and of his previous good character.

Sentencing, Judge Williams said: ‘You were clearly enjoying what you were putting her through… I don’t accept for a moment you have any regret or remorse for what you did. 

‘You have a mild form of autism but that doesn’t impact your culpability with what you did. You said you had never had any sexual experience until your now-pregnant partner with whom you formed a relationship and you felt as though you’d missed out.

‘You pose a high risk of serious harm to female children in the form of sexual violence… You planned this and intended to use alcohol to facilitate the offence. You have caused severe psychological harm in a prolonged incident.’

Griffiths was sentenced to 10 years and six months imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years. He will serve two-thirds of the custodial sentence before he will be considered for parole. 

He was made subject to sex offender notification requirements indefinitely and to a sexual harm prevention order and restraining order for 15 years.

Following the hearing Gwent Police detective constable Georgia Dunne, the officer in the case, said: ‘We’d like to thank the victim and witnesses for coming forward and reporting the incident to the police. 

‘They have shown tremendous bravery and resilience throughout the investigation and the subsequent court process. Rhodri Griffiths is a dangerous man, and we welcome the sentence provided by the courts and hope that he uses this time to reflect on his actions.’

Detective chief inspector Matthew Sedgebeer, the senior investigating officer, said: ‘The behaviour displayed by Rhodri Griffiths suggests that there could be more victims who may not have come forward. 

‘We hope this outcome shows anyone who is a victim of sexual assault that they will be listened to, believed, and respected. We take all allegations very seriously and if a report is made to us we investigate it thoroughly. 

‘We want to reassure anyone considering doing so that there is a whole range of support out there not only from Gwent Police but from partner agencies who can help you through the entire process.’

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