On 9 February 2019 the victim, who is from the Isle of Wight, was socialising with friends in Ventnor. Liam Morrow of Hartington Road in Southampton spoke to them and tagged along with the group who were considerably younger than he was.
During the course of the day Morrow drank coffee while the victim consumed alcohol. The victim was later separated from the group and raped by Morrow. She stated that she was not consenting and never would have consented to sexual intercourse.
Specialist officers provided support to the victim throughout the subsequent complex investigation which saw Morrow charged with rape and assault by penetration under section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA).
On Monday 9 August at Isle of Wight Crown Court, Morrow was sentenced to nine years in prison for rape and seven years in prison for assault by penetration. Both sentences will be served concurrently, meaning that Morrow was jailed for nine years in total.
Investigating officer DC Jessica Hughes said: “I hope this sentence provides some comfort to the victim that Morrow is now in prison for a considerable length of time, where he can’t pose a threat to vulnerable young women. I hope that this result helps the victim to move past this distressing sexual assault, so that she can live her life safe in the knowledge that justice has been delivered by the court. I’d like to commend her for her actions throughout the investigation that have helped us to secure this outcome.
“I’d also urge all victims of sexual assault to contact us. We work tirelessly on investigations such as this to ensure that victims are supported by ourselves and partner agencies as we seek to secure convictions for these types of offences. No-one should feel reluctant to report this kind of crime. Victims will be listened to, supported and encouraged by the police, CPS and other agencies”.
We encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to contact us on 101 and speak with a specialist officer in confidence.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, you’re entitled to support whether you report the crime or not. You can access different types of support depending on how you’re feeling and what you decide to do next.
You can visit https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/ to see the support on offer.
The #ItStillMatters Campaign is assuring survivors of sexual abuse that it is never too late to get support. Information is given on National Helplines and also how to access support locally. https://www.safeline.org.uk/it-still-matters/