Father jailed for raping daughter 30 years ago
A SOMERSHAM man who raped his daughter 30 years ago – when she was just seven or eight-years-old – has been jailed for 11 years. Michael Street, 60, was sentenced on Friday at Northampton Crown Court for rape, indecency with a child, and indecent assault
A SOMERSHAM man who raped his daughter 30 years ago - when she was just seven or eight-years-old - has been jailed for 11 years.
Michael Street, 60, was sentenced on Friday at Northampton Crown Court for rape, indecency with a child, and indecent assault after he was found guilty last month.
He will remain on the sex offenders' register for life.
Street remained emotionless throughout the sentencing, apart from mouthing "Stay strong" at his wife in the public gallery.
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His daughter, Marie Byfield, from Northamptonshire, waived her anonymity during the trial, in which she described how Street had raped her in a field when she was a child.
The court heard Street had only raped her once, but had regularly made other sexual gestures and has also tried to bribe her to have sex with him.
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All the incidents were said to have happened during the period of 1975 to 1982.
The court heard Street had previous convictions for indecent assault and indecent exposure.
Sentencing, his honour Judge Corrie said: "It goes without saying that you abused her trust, you behaved in a way which no father should.
"You had, it is said, and the court accepts, a difficult upbringing with a disciplinarian father. You were distressed when a brother of yours died in unpleasant and painful circumstances.
"You married and you had a family and your first child was born when you were still only 19. She became the target of your lust in the sense that you were convicted by the jury on April 3, although you still deny any guilt, of raping her in a field when she was only seven or eight."
Judge Corrie said the rape had left Mrs Byfield bleeding for several days afterwards, and had left long-term emotional and psychological effects.
He added: "It's plain that you are, and will continue to be, a risk to young children and you should be kept apart from them.
"That includes your grandchildren of whom you have many.
"I am prepared to accept that your health and your age are both factors, as is the fact that these offences took place a long time ago."
He also said Street had successfully addressed his drink problem which seemed to have been linked to most of his problems.
Mother-of-six Mrs Byfield was not present at the sentencing, but speaking outside court her son Luke, 20, said: "I'm just really proud of her.
"It was hard for all of us but we got there."
Helen Garvie, trainee detective constable from Northamptonshire police, said: "In my view Marie is the epitome of a brave lady. In my 12 years in the police she will always stand out to me as the bravest person I have ever met.
"It's also a testament to her family, her husband Darren, and her six children who supported her through this.