Child rapist found hiding in his loft jailed for 12 years

Paul Mercer. EMN-180109-013404001
Paul Mercer. EMN-180109-013404001

A man who went into hiding after being revealed as a child rapist was today (Friday) jailed for 12 years and nine months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Paul Mercer twice raped his victim when she was just 12 years old and went on to rape her on further occasions after her 13th birthday, the court was told.

Lincoln Crown Court

Lincoln Crown Court

Mercer, 51, of Old Main Road, East Heckington, near Sleaford, admitted four charges of rape.

Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, said the abuse was revealed to a teacher at the girl’s school and police were contacted.

On the same day officers went to arrest Mercer but at first were unable to find him.

Mr Thatcher said: “There was initially an unsuccessful attempt to arrest the defendant.

“The two cars normally parked outside his property were hidden and he had removed £3,000 from the safe in the house.

“He no doubt contemplated some form of escape and was preparing to do that.

“Having not found him at first the police reattended at his house. The loft hatch was ajar and they found the defendant sitting cross-legged staring into the distance. He was arrested.”

He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Mark Watson, for Mercer, said: “The most significant piece of mitigation is the fact that he pleaded guilty.

“He is open to taking all rehabilitation courses that are thrown in his direction because he acknowledges that what he did was catastrophically wrong. He is open to all that can be done to manage his risk.”